Giants Recall Top Prospect Posey
The Giants purchased the contract of top prospect Buster Posey today, officially beginning the Posey Era in San Francisco. Luckily for the Giants, this does not begin Posey’s clock prematurely, and this move will allow for him to get his feet wet in the Majors. Hopefully they will have Posey begin next year in the Minors a la Matt Wieters/Evan Longoria to limit his service time.
Here’s Posey’s scouting report from Baseball America (yes, this is subscriber-only material, but I don’t think they’ll mind this one time):
Background: Posey led NCAA Division I in hitting (.463), on-base percentage (.566), slugging (.879), hits (119), total bases (226) and RBIs (93) in 2008, en route to winning Baseball America’s College Player of the Year and the Golden Spikes awards. The Rays considered him with the first overall pick, but he slid to the Giants at No. 5. He received the largest up-front bonus in draft history, $6.2 million.
Strengths: There might have been better pure athletes in the draft, but Posey has few peers when it comes to baseball athleticism. He was drafted out of high school as a pitcher and moved from shortstop to catcher at Florida State, where he once played all nine positions in one game. He profiles as a catcher in the mold of Joe Mauer. Posey has a quick bat and makes consistent contact with gap power to all fields. Arm strength isn’t a problem, as he hit 94 mph as an occasional reliever for the Seminoles. He’s agile and has soft hands, and he even runs well. He’s a captain on the field and wins plaudits for his baseball acumen.
Weaknesses: Posey is still relatively new to catching and will need time to develop behind the plate, especially his game-calling skills. He had trouble with passed balls in Hawaii Winter Baseball and was sent back to instructional league for a crash course in receiving. Despite his huge power numbers as a college junior, some scouts believe he won’t hit more than 10-12 homers annually in the majors.
The Future: Posey doesn’t have to hit for huge power to be an all-star. He’s versatile enough to play anywhere on the diamond, but most valuable as a catcher. He’s probably headed for Double-A, where he’ll catch a talented pitching staff.
Posey was originally listed by Baseball America as being the fourteenth-best prospect in the game and the second best catching prospect behind Baltimore’s Matt Wieters (the #1 prospect) and he’s easily a top-10 prospect in all of Baseball at the moment. There were some questions about his ability to call a game and how raw he is behind the plate, and while he’s still got some work to do, he’s already a damn good defensive catcher. There were also some questions about his ability to hit for power, but his .206 ISO and .531 SLG (.511 in AAA) is certainly nothing to scoff at. His doubles and Home Run rates, prorated to a full season (700 PA) translate into a spectacular 44 doubles and 26 big flies, and his remarkable 0.87 BB/K ratio and sound plate discipline will be quite helpful to the Giants’ lineup. Posey finished his 2009 Minor League season with 33.3 weighted Runs Above Average, which is fantastic- even more so for a catcher with plus defensive skills.
Giants fans, if you weren’t excited enough about the possibility of making it into the Playoffs, this should do the trick. Buster Posey is here. And he’s the real deal.