San Francisco Giants: Analyzing the Career Path of Buster Posey

By John Shea
Buster Posey
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Former National League MVP Buster Posey is the indestructible face of the San Francisco Giants. Posey has been the ultimate proponent in the Giants winning two World Series titles over the past four seasons. He’s an indispensable brand of player that is destined for permanent stardom if he’s able to avoid cataclysmic injury.

The $167 million value the Giants slapped on Posey’s name before the 2013 season marked a historic contract signing. San Francisco values their even-keeled catcher more than perennial slugger Barry Bonds. Posey is systematically related to the Giants’ potential future success. The 26-year-old failed to conquer lofty expectations last season, posting a measly .294 batting average with 15 home runs and 72 runs-driven-in over 520 official at-bats.

Those numbers would be deemed exceptional for a majority of professional ballplayers, but Posey is held to a different standard. He’s a reserved leader in the clubhouse, the kind of player that leads by example. His devout work ethic is exemplified in his durable style of play. Posey started 119 games behind the plate for the Giants in 2013, catching a career high 1,031 innings.

The Giants’ star-studded cornerstone is a catcher that showcases all the intangibles a general manager could possible ask for out of a backstop. It’s well-known at this juncture of his career, in spite of suffering a seemingly career-threatening injury in 2011, that Posey wants to catch for the foreseeable future.

However, the Giants’ front office brass is critically aware of the fact that Posey will eventually need to transition to another position. Manager Bruce Bochy alluded that sentiment last September, when he essentially acknowledged that it’s entirely possible for Posey to claim another spot on the diamond at some point in his career.

The groundwork for Posey’s future has already been set forth. The dependable backstop is on a career arch that masks Joe Mauer, a former catcher turned first baseman.

Mauer played 10 seasons behind the plate before fully transitioning into a new role on defense. He’s a career .323 hitter and has played in at least 109 games in eight of 10 big league seasons. Mauer is a former American League MVP and boasts similar personal accolades as Posey. The 30-year-old veteran is a six-time All-Star that also owns a monstrous contract, which is an imperfect determining factor that will ultimately force Posey to make a switch.

San Francisco wants to preserve the offensive skills of their home-grown superstar. Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated dubbed Posey the “game’s most indispensable player” in a regional edition of the magazine, which was published in July 2013. His resounding perspective on Posey essentially defines his essence as a baseball player.

However, Posey is a valuable entity that is potentially the driving force that could lead the Giants to future championships. He’s the kind of player that franchises build around, a cornerstone is every facet of the word.

But Posey won’t stay in the squat until the day he hangs up his spikes. The Giants’ franchise player is a future first baseman; just ask Joe Mauer.

John Shea is a San Francisco Giants writer for Follow him on Twitter @shea_prosports. “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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