With the World Series set to kick off tonight and the focus this week on Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks is catchers, I figured what better backstop to discuss than 2012 MVP Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants. The fifth overall draft pick from Leesburg, Georgia has been the best overall offensive catcher since his arrival on the scene in 2010.
After a home plate collision ended his 2011 campaign only 45 games in, Buster Posey answered his critics in 2012 by hitting .336, 24 homers, scoring 78 runs, driving in 103 runs, winning an MVP award, and leading the San Francisco Giants to their second World Series title in three years. His second World Series ring and MVP award cemented the young catcher as one of the stars of the game.
The 2013 season was a little less impressive for Buster Posey, but he was still the best offensive catcher in the game. Hitting 15 home runs and posting a slash line of .294/.371/.450 is still nothing to scoff at. Interestingly enough, the 0.86 BB/K rate is the best of his career, but the .312 BABIP is .015 below his career average. A lower line drive rate and HR/FB rate also worked to slightly depress Posey’s 2013 statistics.
This season, Buster Posey found his numbers between his MVP 2012 season and his very impressive, but not MVP caliber 2013 season. His 22 homers, 72 runs scored, 89 RBI’s, and a .311 average were the second best of his career. In fact, a significant number of Posey’s 2014 statistics only trailed his 2012 numbers.
In addition to having the second best season of his career, Buster Posey struck out only 11.4% of the time, but his walk rate did experience a serious decline to 7.8%. He also posted a spectacular 24.3% line drive rate, but only posted a .319 BABIP. If I had to guess, then I would expect Posey’s average to increase next year because his infield hit percentage was a mere 4.4%.
I think the biggest difference between Posey’s 2012 and 2014 seasons was due to randomness that saw a much higher HR/FB% and infield hit percentage in 2012. Both of these pieces of information were reflected in the fact that Buster Posey found himself with a .368 BABIP in 2012 versus a .319 BABIP in 2014.
Even with this randomness, I do think Posey’s best season was when he was awarded the MVP. However, he was not that far off the pace this season at age 27. In fact, Posey has certainly proven his worth both before and after his season-ending injury in 2011.
As for next season, I expect very similar numbers to 2012 and 2014 with his floor at his 2013 stats. You are drafting the strong favorite to be the top catcher in the game when you select Buster Posey in probably the third round. Plus, he has seen a slight increase of games played at first base in order to protect his body and bat for the long run.
As for now, I would just sit back and enjoy the World Series knowing very well that the top offensive catcher in the game is trying to win his third World Series title of his incredible young career.