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Benjie Molina

Benjie Molina Biography

Benjamin Jose (“Bengie” or “Ben”) Molina (born July 20, 1974 in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico) is a Major League Baseball catcher, currently with the San Francisco Giants. After being initially regarded as a “good glove, no hit” catcher, Molina has developed into one of the better offensive catchers in baseball in addition to retaining his solid defense. However, at 5’11” and weighing 225 pounds, Molina is regarded as one of the slowest baserunners in the game. Molina graduated from the Maestro Ladi­ High School in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico.
Molina won a Gold Glove as the top defensive player at his position in consecutive seasons in 2002 and 2003. Regarded as an exceptional ball blocker and blessed with a strong arm, he is frequently regarded by both pundits and fans alike as one of the strongest defensive catchers in the game and a very good contact hitter. Molina’s ability to make proven contact with the ball is evident in the difficulty opposing pitchers have in striking him out. With just 212 career strikeouts (at the culmination of the 2005 regular-season), he posted the highest total of at-bats in between strikeouts in the American league in 2000, going an average 14.3 at-bats in between strikeouts.
He first played two games for the Anaheim Angels in 1998, and after a handful of games in 1999, he became the Angels’ regular catcher in 2000 and remained so through the 2005 season. Over his last few seasons with the Angels, his backup at catcher there was his brother Jose Molina. Their younger brother Yadier is also a catcher and plays for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bengie was the catcher in the play in game 5 of the 2002 World Series when J.T. Snow lifted Darren Baker out of harm’s way in front of Molina and ahead of David Bell.
Bengie Molina’s contract with the Angels expired after the 2005 season, and the team decided not pursue his return because of the salary he would demand. He signed a 1-year $5 million contract with the Blue Jays, with a mutual option for a second year. While it was expected that he would catch the majority of the Jays’ 2006 season with Gregg Zaun serving as his backup, Molina’s difficulties with right-handed pitchers led to the Jays employing a platoon system. After the 2006 season, Molina became a free agent and signed with San Francisco.
After signing with the Blue Jays, Molina expressed his anger at the Angels over how he parted company with them. “The way they let me go without a notice, without calling me, that said a lot,” Molina said. “That’s what really hurts me. I think I built a good relationship with them,” he said. “They never let me know. They just threw me like a piece of trash.” Molina’s agent, Alan Nero, later confirmed however, that both he and Molina had in fact received calls from the Angels informing them of the team’s decisions. Nero suggested that Molina’s comments to the contrary were borne from his disappointment and frustration over not being retained by the Angels, as he had hoped to be.

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