Buster Posey is Keeping the Giants in Contention
Wednesday August 22nd, 2012
Sam Evans: When Buster Posey broke his fibula in 2011, it was a crushing blow to a Giants team fighting for a playoff spot. The Giants ended up missing the playoffs that year, largely due to not having any production from catcher. In 2012, Posey was expected to regain his old form immediately and help bring the playoffs to San Francisco. So far in 2012, Posey has exceeded previous expectations, and deserves a lot of the credit for the Giants’ success. With the N.L. West looking like it’s going to come down to the wire, and Melky Cabrera out for the regular season (and part of the playoffs), Posey needs to keep up his performance in order for San Francisco to make the playoffs.
Buster Posey has always been a hitter. At Florida State, Posey was moved from shortstop to catcher so he doesn’t have as much experience behind the plate as a typical catcher. Posey’s defense at catcher has improved year by year thanks to his work ethic and athleticism. This year, Posey has shown no signs of his previous injury, and has continued to play solid defense behind the plate. Not to mention, Posey is having his most valuable offensive season ever, and one of the more impressive batting lines in the National League.
In 458 at bat’s this year, Posey has hit .327 with nineteen homers, a .402 OBP, and a 154 wRC+. Posey’s wRC+ ranks in the top ten in all of baseball, and his 19 home runs are a career-high. Posey still has over thirty games left in the regular season this year, and his recent performances suggest he still has a lot left in his tank. Andrew McCutchen looks poised to win the NL MVP this season but Posey isn’t far behind.
In 501 plate appearances in 2012, Melky Cabrera was hitting .346/.390/.516. His 146 wRC+ ranked second on the Giants, only behind Posey. Cabrera was making Brian Sabean look like a genius, and providing another way for people to make fun of Dayton Moore. Cabrera was a valuable piece on a team that appeared to have a slight advantage over Los Angeles due to their outfielders.
When the news broke about a week ago that Melky Cabrera had been suspended fifty games for a performance-enhancing substance, all of baseball was shocked. It’s not too often these days that high-profile major leaguers receive PED suspensions. Cabrera would miss all of the regular season, and first-round of playoffs. This had to be a devastating blow to the Giants and an awful day for baseball in McCovey Cove. However, the same day,Buster Posey and Angel Pagan led San Francisco to a 10-1 win over the Padres that same day.
The Giants wouldn’t have been able to keep up with Los Angeles if it weren’t for Posey’s solid year. Posey is hot at the right time, and he’s proven he can perform in the clutch before. Posey is one of the best catchers in the majors, if not the best. This probably won’t be the year that the Giants reach the World Series, but because of Posey and the San Francisco pitching staff, the playoffs don’t seem impossible. Buster Posey is the main reason San Francisco has a chance to compete with the Dodgers for the N.L. West division championship.
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***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Sam Evans. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Sam on Twitter. (@RJA206)***
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Posted on August 22, 2012, in MLB Player Profiles and tagged barry zito, baseball, buster posey, giants, hunter pence, madison bumgarner, Marco scutaro, melky cabrera, mlb, nl mvp, nl west, pablo sandoval, San Francisco, sf giants, tim lincecum. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.