Continuing with my series on 2010 impact prospects today we will take a look at San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey. Posey was a first round pick (fifth overall) out of Florida State in 2008. After appearing in only 10 games after signing late in ’08, he began the 2009 season in Advanced-A and excelled with a .433 wOBA and slugged .540 in 291 at bats. He quickly rose to Triple-A and did not miss a beat while posting a .390 wOBA and a .511 slugging percentage.
Posey earned a September call-up but played sparingly and mustered just two hits in 17 at bats. With the impending free agency of Bengie Molina, Posey will likely be the top candidate to fill the void although I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants started him off in the minors in order to delay his service time by a year similar to how the Orioles handled Wieters this season.
Posey is an advanced hitter with great plate discipline. In 125 career minor league games he has walked 70 times and struck out 72 times. He has the ability to hit for a high average and can develop into a consistent .300 hitter. He has gap power which should translate into 30-40 doubles and around 15-20 home runs annually. At 6’1 180 pounds he isn’t nearly as big as Matt Wieters or Joe Mauer but he could prove to belong in that upper echelon of catching prospects.
Defensively, Posey has a quick release and an accurate arm. In 2009 he threw out 39 of 94 attempted stolen bases (46 percent caught stealing rate). He is not as good as Molina behind the plate; however, his footwork and receiving ability are improving and could become a plus down the road.
Posey will be able to immediately provide a boost to San Francisco’s offense. He could eventually become a presence in the middle of the lineup.