“That’s Amore!” What Has Made Buster Posey A Future Hall of Famer?
Before I get started I wanted to wish all the mothers out there a Happy Mother’s Day. I want to wish a great Happy Mother’s Day to the woman who was my biggest fan, and support system, my mom, Sue. We’ve seen the first month, of the 2017 season, come and go, and early on Buster Posey sees himself as a top-five hitter in Major League Baseball. Entering his eighth full season, Posey hasn’t show any signs of slowing down. There’s something to be said for the catcher that currently owns a lifetime slash line of .308/.375/.478 to go along with 122 home runs and 536 RBI. He’s been greatly consistent, for the San Francisco Giants, averaging nearly 130 games played per season. What is it that makes him great? Is it the fact that we will give you nearly 20 HR and 75 RBI from a thin position? How about being the first catcher drafted in all fantasy formats? This week, I wanted to zero in on what makes Buster Posey special in this week’s article of “That’s Amore!” What Has Made Buster Posey a Future Hall of Famer?
Drafted fifth overall in the 2008 MLB Draft, Posey quickly made it to the Majors getting a “cup of coffee” in 2009 before taking over full-time catching duties in 2010. The four-time All-Star has been the top catcher in fantasy baseball, and is off to a tear in 2017 slashing .358/.433/.566 with six home runs. He’s been the most important player for a Giants team that finds itself in unfamiliar territory sitting a game ahead of the last-place San Diego Padres. San Francisco has battled injuries, most notably Madison Bumgarner, and slow starts from their starting pitching. If the Giants are to rebound from their slow start, Posey will be relied upon more than he ever has been. I wouldn’t be shocked if he sets a career-high for games played at first base. The 42 games set in 2015 could easily be broken for a player whose bat needs to stay in the lineup. Last season, the Giants leading power-hitter lead the team with 17 home runs. I understand the Giants don’t rely on the home run, but they’ll need to score runs to pick of the slack due to an anemic pitching staff.
Entering Monday, Posey had a career batted ball line of: 14.1 Soft%, 52.6 Med%, and 33.3 Hard%. Through April, and the first half of May, Posey’s batted ball line sits at 13.8 Soft% (33rd), 55.3 Med% (23rd), and 30.9 Hard% (112th). While Posey has never eclipsed the 30 HR plateau, he’s always had a knack for solid contact, clutch hits, and driving in runs. He’s currently on pace to hit 30 home runs. If he can keep pace with his Med%, and increase his Hard%, there’s no questioning this feat will be reachable. Med% is his highest ranking, and this can be direct correlated to his ability to make solid contact that leads to many line drives. His contact percentage has always been one of the best, especially at the catching position, with career contact percentages of 77.5% O-Contact and 90.8% Z-Contact. This season’s early success has seen a 85.3% O-Contact (6th) and 88.7% Z-Contact (42nd). I like the fact he’s had an early knack for making contact on pitches outside of the zone. Being able to foul of the border line pitch, allows him to lure pitchers into making his pitch.
What does Posey bring to fantasy baseball? There’s no need to argue that he’s the number one rated fantasy catcher. His Yahoo (48.1), ESPN (45.2), and Fantrax (44.98) ADP’s speak for themselves. He’s always had the most consistent numbers from the catching position. While he may not lead the position in home runs, he’s a solid option for games played, overall hits, and RBI. What about for daily fantasy? If you’re like me, you want to find a bargain at catcher. However, Posey’s splits have always been pleasing to players selecting him. Through the span of 2014-2016, Posey has slashed .310/.377/.503 against lefties, and .304/.365/.420 against righties. Over the last 3 years, his power numbers have been better against righties as he has 36 home runs off righties compared to 19 against lefties. Looking at the numbers, you can’t go wrong if Posey’s your guys versus either types of pitchers. Another interesting split is his Day/Night split. While the slash lines are similar at .322/.375/.786 compared to .297/.365/.454, he’s played more night games, and produced more power numbers.
How about his defense? Naturally, we would expect a Hall of Famer to be successful on both the offensive and defensive side of the diamond. However, there have been numerous catchers that were standouts offensively, but suffered defensively. This isn’t the case with Posey. Yes, he earned his first Gold Glove in 2016, but it’s hard to win the prestigious award when you’re going up against Yadier Molina each season. However, Posey has had the best numbers in terms of pitch framing, and second to him was Yasmani Grandal in 2016. Suring up his defense, Posey has always been one of the best at blocking pitches in the dirt. This not only saves wild pitches, but allows pitchers more chances to waste pitches in the dirt. Since 2014, Posey has never finished ninth (’14), fifth (’15), and third (’16) in defensive runs saved. It’s easy to see why he’s played an intricate role in the three World Series Championships he’s helped lead San Francisco to.
I’m a firm believer that a Hall of Famer is superior to their peers in all aspects of their respective sport. Buster Posey fits the bill offensively, defensively, and as a leader. It’s hard to argue that any one catcher has outperformed the Giants’ backstop. This is evident in the success of the Giants, his individual performances, and the fact that he’s always the first catcher off the board in fantasy baseball. When it’s all said it done, there’s no questioning Buster Posey will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
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Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join guest host Andrea Lamont, and Kyle Amore live on Monday May 15th, 2017 from 7-9pm EST for episode #87 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will be previewing the coming week’s key matchups and discussing key fantasy information.
Our guest this week is Lenny Melnick. Lenny is fantasy baseball pioneer, current FSWA Hall of Famer, and the host of his daily podcasts on lennymelnickfantasysports.com Mon-Fri at 9am EST. He also co-hosts a show every Sunday morning from 7-10am EST with Craig Mish on the fantasy sports station on Sirius.
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