One of the most glaring voids from the 2014 National League All-Star team is San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, although the two-time World Series champ hasn’t produced anywhere near the level of his positional counterparts. Make no mistake: Posey is having a solid season for the Giants, but his numbers aren’t as spectacular of those that belong to Jonathan Lucroy and Devin Mesoraco.
ESPN’s Keith Law has already gone on record displaying his distaste for Posey’s absence from the NL All-Star team which is a sentiment shared by many. The only realistic chance the Giants’ backstop had at earning a spot on the roster was by getting voted in as a starter, considering the outstanding numbers the aforementioned Lucroy and Mesoraco have posted in the season’s first half. St. Louis Cardinals fans simply logged more votes for Yadier Molina than Giants fans were able to for Posey.
The current fan-voting system in place for the MLB All-Star Game isn’t exactly satisfying, but there is no changing the fact that Giants fans didn’t get the job done, a relatively surprising occurrence considering San Francisco’s ballot-stuffing tactics of past seasons. Blame it on the Giants’ June swoon that saw the orange and black tumble out of first place after building a 9.5-game division lead. For whatever reason, Giants fans didn’t vote in unison like they usually do.
On paper, it’s easy to make the argument that Posey is more worthy of a spot on the NL roster than Molina. Posey owns a slightly more efficient OPS (.776 to .760), more extra-base hits (29 to 22) and more RBIs (41 to 30). Molina holds an edge in batting average (.292 to .286) and on-base percentage (.347 to .342). In total, both players have had very similar statistical seasons from a run-producing standpoint.
The biggest gap between Posey and Molina in regard to the All-Star edge is caught-stealing percentage. Molina has thrown out a league-best 50-percent of attempting base-stealers (17-fo-34) while Posey has caught just 14-of-47 attempting runners (30 percent). Molina also owns a slightly better fielding percentage (.997 to .992).
In comparison of Posey’s offensive numbers to Lucroy and Mesoraco, well, they’re incomparable. Lucroy has been a driving force for the surging Milwaukee Brewers, recording a .329 average with 40 extra-base hits, fueling a .913 OPS. Mesoraco has been similarly impressive for the Cincinnati Reds, registering a ridiculous 1.013 OPS with 15 home runs and 44 RBIs in just 183 at bats.
It’s undeniable just how good Posey truly is, but the 2012 NL MVP just hasn’t been as impressive as the three NL All-Star catchers have been so far this season. For Giants fans, it’s not necessarily a bad thing that Posey won’t suit up in the 85th edition of the All-Star Game. He can surely use a four-day break from the squat.
Posey endured the worst slump of his big-league career in the second half of the 2013 season, disabling the Giants’ chances of making a last-ditch run at the postseason. His appearance in the ASG likely had nothing to do with that, but the Giants’ franchise player could use a breather heading into what is going to be a dogfight for the NL West crown.