I’m not sure if you watched the World Champion San Francisco Giants last season, but if you didn’t, there is someone you need to know about. His name is Buster Posey. He’s their starting catcher and he is good. That is about as simple as it can be put. More in detail, he posted a .336 average with 24 homers and 103 runs batted in. That ranks right up there with the best seasons ever for a catcher. Did I mention he was the catcher? Yeah, those numbers and he didn’t even see all 162 games.
To put it in perspective, that batting average ranks in the top 20 single season averages ever by a catcher. But let’s not stamp his ticket to Cooperstown just yet. The difference between catchers who had a great year or two and the legendary figures of Johnny Bench and Mike Piazza is consistency. Can Posey be consistently great like he was last year? He really hasn’t put in enough time for us to be certain.
He certainly has the tools, but so do a lot of guys. Catcher is probably the most physically demanding position on the diamond to play regularly. Posey played in 148 games during the 2012 season. If you look at catchers over the years, only Bench seemed able to play more games than that on a regular basis and still produce. Even then the average fell below the .300 mark.
All that to say this: It will not be an easy task. So many times when a hitter looks pure bred and gifted to be the best, we just assume they will back up great years with other great years. Baseball history is filled with players who had great years then for one reason or another weren’t able to duplicate it. All signs point to Posey being the real deal. If he can stay healthy, he has a shot at another productive season. Don’t expect numbers like last season every year until he proves he can.