Pujols: Molina is surefire HOFer and the 'greatest catcher of his time'
Scott Kane / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols believes Yadier Molina belongs in the Hall of Fame, no matter what critics say.

"That's a joke. You kidding me? He's the greatest catcher of his time. It's not even close," the Angels first baseman told USA Today's Bob Nightengale. "Defensively, he might be the greatest of all time. Some of these people don't appreciate greatness, they just look at numbers on their computer."

Molina's Hall of Fame chances have been up for debate since the now 38-year-old hinted at retiring in 2018 before recently changing his mind and saying he wants to play two more years.

Critics have pointed at Molina's offensive output (career OPS+ of 98) while questioning his Cooperstown credentials, but the longtime St. Louis Cardinals backstop is one of only 16 catchers in baseball history to record 2,000-plus hits. He's also won nine Gold Gloves and provided leadership to two World-Series-winning teams in St. Louis.

Pujols remains an avid supporter of his former teammate being inducted.

"I always tell people the Cardinals could afford to let me go, but they couldn't afford to let Yadi go anywhere else," Pujols said. "That pitching staff and that organization would never have the success without Yadi. He's meant everything to that organization."

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Pujols: Molina is surefire HOFer and the 'greatest catcher of his time'
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