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The National League is lucky that the two best catchers in the big leagues -- Yadier Molina and Buster Posey -- both play in the same league. Molina may have a few years on Posey, but both have put up tremendous numbers the past few years.

When it comes time for the annual All-Star Game, only one of them can get the starting nod. While the runner-up will likely be invited to the game as a reserve, it’s always an honor to be voted in by the fans.
Yadier Molina
Photo by Barbara Moore, used under creative commons license.

As of June 17, Posey leads Molina in the voting by less than 70,000 votes. No knock on Posey, who continues to show that when he is healthy, he is one of the best young hitters in the game. But Molina is having the better year and should get the starting nod based on performance.

Posey is batting a solid .319 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs. He has played a handful of games at first base for the Giants, but he’s still their everyday catcher and provides a rare offensive punch from that position.

However, Molina is leading the NL with a .367 batting average, 92 hits and 23 doubles. He’s hit four home runs, driven in 39 runs and sports a .408 on-base percentage.

These numbers are unreal for a catcher.

Molina has always been known for his defense, but he’s really picked up his offensive game the past few years. He set career-highs last season in batting average (.315), home runs (22) and RBIs (76).

But defensively is where Molina shines. The five-time Gold Glove Award winner has thrown out 41 percent of would-be base stealers. On the other hand, Posey has only managed to throw out 17 percent.

As an overall hitter, Posey still has the advantage. He has a bit more pop and has better speed, though most players in the league are faster than Molina.

But if defense is taken into account, Molina is the better overall player of the two, especially this season since he’s leading the league in hitting in addition to playing stellar defense.

Cardinals fans have been pushing hard to vote Molina as the starter for the Mid-Summer Classic. Fans have taken to Twitter with the hashtag #YadiYadiYadi to gain support for their team’s catcher.

Giants fans, however, have always been known to vote in droves for their hometown players, and the same is true this year for Posey, who is the NL’s leading vote getter.

You really can’t go wrong with having either Posey or Molina start the game, especially since the two will likely split the game to form a dynamic catching duo for the NL. But Molina deserves the start this year hands down.