Buster Posey will be counted on to lead the Giants for the next several years.
Tools of ignorance indeed.
Try telling that to Giants catcher Buster Posey. He just signed a nine-year, $167 million contract extension. It’s the largest guaranteed contract in history for a player with three or fewer years of major league experience.
Posey rebounded from an horrific injury in 2011 to lead the National League in batting in 2012 with a .336 average, becoming only the third catcher in major league history to win a batting title. Bubbles Hargrave hit .353 for the 1926 Reds, while Twins catcher Joe Mauer has won three batting crowns (2006, 2008 & 2009).
Posey entered the big leagues for good in 2010 as one of the most highly-touted prospects of the last decade. He was the fifth overall pick of the 2008 draft, and hasn’t disappointed. He was named the NL Rookie of the Year in 2010, hitting .305 with 18 home runs 67 RBI and an OPS of .862.
On May 25, 2011 Posey was involved in a violent collision with the Marlins’ Scott Cousins as he tried to block the plate as Cousins scored the winning run in the 12th inning of a 7-6 win. Posey ended up with a broken left ankle and missed the rest of the season. At the time he was hitting .284 with 4 homers and 21 RBI.
Last season Posey posted career highs with his .336 average, 24 homers and 103 RBI. He led the league in OPS+ at 172 (OPS+ is a player’s on-base plus slugging percentage as adjusted for ballpark and league variables. The average is 100.).
Posey turned 26 on March 27, so his best years are unquestionably ahead of him. With him behind the plate calling pitches for the Giants’ rotation of Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong and Barry Zito, the Giants have won the World Series two of the last three years. At some point during the duration of his contract he’ll be switched to first base, but if he can continue to stay healthy and guide the Giants’ staff, he may get enough World Series rings to fill a hand.
To quote the 18th century British poet Thomas Gray: “Ignorance is bliss.”
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