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        After experiencing one of the most gruesome collisions at home plate in the history of the baseball, just staying healthy would have been considered an acceptable season for Buster Posey. However, not only has Posey stayed remarkably durable this year, but also he has produced like an MVP. A triple slash of .332/.405/.541  would be considered extremely productive for any player, but doing so as a catcher makes it all the more impressive. The daily wear and tear accumulation from catching makes it difficult to produce offensively in addition to handling the pitching staff and taking innumerable beatings from balls in the dirt and home plate collisions. For instance, the average major league catcher produces at an abysmal .249/.320/.400, a far cry from Posey's production this year. 

            Additionally, this is coming from a player who was drafted as a pitcher out of high school, became an All-American shortstop at Florida State, and someone who once played all nine positions in one game. His near flawless transition to behind the plate is incredible, considering he only picked the position up in his sophomore year of college. A position that often takes years to learn and even longer to master, Posey was a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award (awarded to the best catcher in college baseball) after just one season playing the position. Lauded by scouts for his off-the-charts makeup and leadership ability, the San Francisco Giants had enough faith in him to be their future behind the plate. Then just two years after being drafted, Buster rewarded their faith by winning the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year and a World Series Championship.

            Now, Posey stands above the rest as one of the best players in the game today. His 168 OPS+ is best in the Senior Circuit and also boasts a top ten WAR (6.4) and WPA (4.4). Also, as previously mentioned, Posey's health after a near-catastrophic injury has been impeccable while playing in 109 games as a catcher. This durability has allowed him to log a good number of games behind the plate in addition to saving his legs with the occasional start at first base. Of catchers with at least 800 innings caught (arbitrary number that denotes roughly 100 games caught), Posey ranks ninth highest in caught stealing percentage (30%) as well as having the sixth highest range factor among backstops. Also, Posey guides a staff that has the seventh lowest ERA in all of baseball and is frequently praised for his keen ability to call a game.

            Add in the fact that Posey has been the driving offensive force for a team that lost its leadoff hitter and sparkplug (Melky Cabrera) and lacked much firepower to begin with, Posey's numbers continue to impress. To further prove his worth, he has hit an incredible .383/.455/.639 in the second half, helping his team dust the "improved" Dodgers in a previously tight NL West divisional race. And just last week, the Giants clinched their first division title since Posey's last full season. Coincidence? I think not. Clearly, Posey is a extraordinary athlete who not only lived up to the hype but has exceeded it faster than anyone could have predicted with a shiny MVP award staring him right in the face in just his third season. Then again, why should we be surprised?

 


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