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Buster Posey: A Cut Above

For the regulars of RotoGraphs, you know that I covered the catchers all season and somewhere in the early goings of the second half, I finally put Buster Posey in the top tier, all by himself. Every other catcher to me was flawed in some way and for at least one way or another paled in comparison to the Giants backstop. Well, after looking at Zach Sanders’ Catcher End of Season Rankings and looking at Posey’s return value of $23, I would say that I was not wrong in my thinking. Posey is, indeed, a cut above the rest and is well-deserving of his number one ranking.

I’d say, “Let’s discuss,” but is there really a discussion necessary? I was sitting here trying to figure out what angle I would take so not to turn this into just a glorified puff-piece, but in reality, there’s no other angle to take than to sing this guy’s praises. This past season, he’s won the NL Comeback Player of the Year award, the NL batting title, his second World Series ring and unless the BBWAA voters have their collective heads up a certain dark and stinky body cavity, he should be adding the NL MVP award to his collection of hardware. He plays one of the most difficult and  taxing positions and was/is the backbone and future of the San Francisco Giants franchise. Few players begin their career with as much fanfare and success as he has (Jeter? Pujols? Braun?), and if I didn’t think it would get me a slap on the wrist, I’d sum it all up with a simple, “He’s Buster f***in Posey.” It’s that easy.

As for the fantasy aspect of it, there’s not a single catcher out there who presents the total package that Posey provides. He hits for both power and average and bats in a spot in the lineup that allows him to not just score a ton of runs, but to knock a whole mess of them in as well. Yadier Molina has come close, but I’d much rather have Posey, particularly in a keeper league. The only thing that Posey doesn’t do is steal bases and frankly, that’s not one of the categories I’m ever looking at when I’m deciding on which catcher to draft. He doesn’t strike out very often, has a walk rate well above league-average, has a fantastic line drive rate that helps offset his slightly askew GB/FB, and come on…a .406 wOBA? He’s shown both growth and consistency in his three major league seasons and at 25 years of age, he hasn’t even reached his prime.

The one problem that I foresee with Posey in 2013 is that he will be tough to get. People are going to be grabbing him super early. The fact that he also plays first base means that he’s getting more than just the usual at-bats a catcher gets, so in all likelihood, people are going to grab him as high as the late second round. Remember after Joe Mauer’s big power year? How early people reached for him the following season? It’s going to be like that, only this time the power won’t vanish and you’ll be getting exactly what you pay for. You’ll probably be able to get a bigger return value for a lesser backstop who has a good season depending on his draft position, but he still won’t be the long-term, consistent quality of Posey.

Again, what is there to say? Draft with confidence. He’s Buster f***in Posey.