by Bill Root, Executive Editor
You know an organization believes a prospect is special when they allow him to skip Double-A ball – that’s Buster Posey.
Many Posey owners wanted to go all “Buster” (Douglas) on Giants’ GM Brian Sabean when they heard the club re-signed Bengie Molina for 2010. Fair enough. Posey’s owners wanted to see him in the starting lineup after watching him hit .325, with 18 HRs, and a .947 OPS in the minors last year. Speaking of Sabean, Tim Alderson for Freddy Sanchez last year? Really, dude?
The 6-1, 205-pound backstop is a sensational line drive machine with solid pitch recognition skills. He hit .320-plus at both High-A and Triple-A last year. Further, he displayed his advanced approach with a 1.00 BB/K rate at High-A and a .74 rate Triple-A. Seriously, because of his excellent bat speed and brainiac hitting style, there’s no question Posey is going to hit for a high average in the majors. Book it.
In addition, in my best Herman Edwards voice, Posey “plays to win the game.” The dude is as competitive as they come and always working on his hitting skills. Thus, you know he’s going to reach his ceiling. Not every prospect even comes close to their peak. Calling all former Matt Bush owners.
I do have serious doubts about Posey’s long-term power potential. Sure, he had 18 homers and 50 extra base hits last year in the minors. However, due to his compact/level swing and physical frame, I don’t see a guy who will ever hit 25-plus home runs per year in the majors. In fact, in most years, he will fall in the 15-20 range. Plus, playing his home games at AT&T Park in San Francisco won’t help the dinger cause. Hey, a .310-plus BA/15-20 HR fantasy catcher ain’t too bad, right?
There’s been some speculation about Posey playing other positions in 2010 with Molina in the fold. I don’t buy it. Okay, he could see some time at first base. Nevertheless, don’t go drafting him in redraft leagues and expect second base eligibility—that would be foolish.
Obviously, Posey is top-notch grab in all keeper leagues. As far as 2010, it would be shocking to see Posey in the majors in the first half given Molina’s presence and the fact he’s only had 115 ABs above High-A. The Giants surely don’t want to stunt his growth by sitting him on the pine at the major league level. Posey needs daily ABs and he will receive them at Triple-A. Now, the second half is a different story, that is when he could make his impact – especially if Molina is dealt.