Top Prospect- Buster Posey

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Junior/Catcher/Florida State

Much like Gordon Beckham, a strong Junior year has caused Posey’s stock to sky rocket.

Career/ Background

Posey has been on the radar for a while, being ranked behind Justin Smoak and Reese Havens on Baseball America’s fab 50 Freshman list at #7.

His story is quite interesting, being drafted by the Angels in the 50th round as a SS, and signed by Florida State as a SS. However, he moved behind the plate after his Freshman season, not become of a lack of ability at SS, but because of the need of the team. The story goes that Coach Mike Martin saw one pitch and knew that he was gonna be an outstanding Catcher.

Freshman: Freshman All- American at SS. Started every game for the Noles at SS. Hit .346 but with only 4 HR.

Sophomore: Moved to Catcher. Finished 5th in the ACC in hitting .382 and 2nd in doubles with 21. Threw out 41% of base stealers.

Junior: Posey made every list out there as a Catcher being obviously the best college Catcher coming into the year. Knock on him coming into the year was his lack of power. He has answered that by hitting a stunning .480 with 17 doubles and 11 HR through 40 games…and has thrown out 56% of SBA. Throw in that he has pitched 5 innings with a mid 90s FB.

Size/Projection:

At 6’2, 200 LB he is the ideal size to play catcher, with no worries about outgrowing it, while having the strength and athleticism to be able to handle the position. Posey is very athletic, especially for a Catcher.

Usually, I do not put much stock into attitude, chemistry, or makeup..just because that stuff is hard to quantify. However, there is alot to be said for being a true baseball player who just wants to help the team..which Posey is. He does have a great attitude and work ethic, so it is easy to see him putting in the work to be a very good major league player.

Swing/Defense:

There is alot to like about Posey’s swing. It is short, compact, and quick to the ball. Coming into the year, the knock was he has not hot for power, he has hit for power this year..but, I do not see him having more than pull power in the majors. With that said, he could potentially hit in the upper .320′s with a low K rate. Maybe in the upper teens in HR in his best year? ..which would put him in the top 5 offensive catchers in the game.

PLUS, he is solid behind the plate. Yeah, he has not played the position long..but thats a good thing, because he still has plenty of room to improve. If he improves over the next 2 years as much has he did the last year, we are talking about an all star catcher.

His arm is outstanding..as well as his release time (in the 1.9s).

Draft:

The rumors that the Rays could take him #1 are just a result of the Rays doing their “due diligence” in looking at all the possible candidates. I think the interesting question is comparing him to HS catching prospect Kyle Skipworth (who is a poor man’s Joe Mauer with more power). Realistically, I think the Giants should consider him at 5, and if he somehow gets out of the top 10, the Twins, A’s and Cardinals would go crazy if he somehow got to them.

Comparison:

Posey has a chance to be in a class of his own – a top 10 defensive catcher and a top 5 offense catcher. How many of those guys are out there right now? Mauer and Martin..thats it.

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  • baseballjunkie

    Nice writeup on Posey. If you were Sabean, would you choose Posey or Skipworth? Or would you choose any other player likely to be available at #5… Smoak, Matusz, other?

  • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

    I like Smoak the most out of the draft….but I am not the one making the pick.

  • JonathanS

    IF I was Sabean ( and I could make the arguement that I would do a better job – only slightly kidding ) I would be looking at Posey and Skipworth very closely.

    The 5 players who will be in play here in my mind are:
    Scheppers, Hunt, Skipworth, Smoak, G. Beckham and Posey.

    All of them are pretty similar in polish and projection. So, with all things being equal, the Giants should look for a posiiton player. Smoak cannot play another position..so Villalona blocks him..so I really think it comes down to a catcher or Beckham.

    I really like Skipworth, I think his ceiling is higher than Posey in that he projects to hit for much more power. But, I think KNOWING Posey will stay at catcher and knowing he can hit against great competition would push him ahead in my mind.

    For me, if the draft were right now, I would be deciding between Beckham and Posey…probably leaning towards Posey

  • JonathanS

    Also, having a stud, leader catcher would be a great thing to couple with all the arms they are devloping. They could start Posey in High A where Alderson, Bumgarner, and Sosa could all be at the end of this year – and potentially move him quickly to catch Cain and Lincecum assuming they are still around in a few years (which is seperate topic entirely).

  • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com NYDORE

    Jonathan, there is already word that the Rays have targeted Posey for #1 over Beckham. Pedro likely will drop to the 2-5 range after demanding $9 Million (Boras much?). I think Smoak will be available at 5, with Beckham, Hosmer, Pedro, Crow and Posey all good candidates to go before him.

    Personally, if I were drafting I’d probably go Beckham, Alvarez/Smoak, and then maybe Crow.