Unlike Jux Berg’s piece on Joey Votto, I’m not trying to argue that Buster Posey is the MLB’s best hitter. I’m arguing that he’s the MLB’s best player.
A Leader By Position
Now the San Francisco Giants’ regular catcher, Buster Posey burst onto the scene in 2010 when, in his rookie season and at the tender age of twenty-four, he led the San Francisco Giants to their first World Series win since 1954. He followed that up in 2012 by taking them back to the World Series, where they swept the Detroit Tigers in four games.
Sure, there are lots of stellar position players out there – your Ryan Braun’s, your Matt Kemp’s, your Robinson Cano’s. What makes Posey different? It’s the fact that he plays catcher, which is arguably the toughest position in baseball. Bob Harkins’ 2012 article, entitled “The Toughest Job in Sports,” outlines the extensive demands – physically, but especially mentally – on the players behind the plate. Jeff Datz, third base coach for the Seattle Mariners, calls catchers “leaders by position.” Rob Leary, bench coach for the Miami Marlins, agrees, adding that “if you’re a catcher that’s really attempting to run the game … the mental side is as strenuous, or maybe even more strenuous, than the physical.
The Stats of a Champion
Batting Average: .313
Home Runs: 46
Runs Batted In: 191
On Base Percentage: .379
Slugging Percentage: .500
Not convinced by Posey’s career stats? Keep in mind that Buster Posey made his major league debut in September 2009, and played his first full season in 2010. He was out for a majority of the 2011 season after a home plate collision in late May caused him to fracture his ankle. His Comeback Player of the Year award, which he received in 2012 after returning from his injury and rehabilitation, is just one of many:
- 2008 Golden Spikes Award
- 2010 NL Rookie of the Year
- 2012 NL MVP
- 2012 All-Star
- 2012 MLB Batting Champion
- 2012 NL Hank Aaron Award
- 2012 Silver Slugger Award
- 2012 NL Comeback Player of the Year
- 2012 Willie Mac Award
His 2012 MVP season is highlighted in the video below, which showcases not only his powerful hitting, but his quick reflexes behind the plate.
What People Are Saying
In an interview with Giants closer Sergio Romo, Romo calls Posey “one of the best players in the game” and says he’s “privileged” to get to watch Posey play every day. Posey has also been called a “once in a lifetime” player by the Giants’ general manager, Brian Sabean, and is so valuable to the team that just last week, he signed a eight-year, $167 million contract with the Giants – the largest in franchise history, and the second largest for a catcher in MLB history.
And he’s earned it. In addition to being a two-time World Series champion with a laundry list of accolades, Posey also caught Matt Cain’s perfect game on June 13, 2012 – only the twenty-second perfect game ever thrown in MLB history. Cain never shook off a pitch, and later credited Posey for his calls, saying, “He’s always on-key with everything, and I was going with everything he put down.”
Plus, he’s just a genuinely nice, humble dude, and I think I speak for Giants fans everywhere when I say we’re thrilled to have him locked in through 2021.
This piece originally appeared on Quick Fix Sports.