I originally intended for this to be a post briefly updating the minor league performances of major league ready prospects but Marc Hulet went ahead and took the wind right out of my sails. Rather than repeating Marc’s words in my own muddled prose, I’ll take this opportunity to run a slightly longer profile on each individual player, starting with one Buster Posey.
Buster Posey: AAA Fresno Grizzlies (.343/.437/.536) – Honestly, there’s nothing left to say about Posey’s incarceration in Fresno that hasn’t already been said elsewhere. However, it’s impossible for me to talk about Posey without focusing on Brian Sabean’s delay tactics. His excuse machine is running on fumes at this point. Thanks to Sabean, we now know that:
-catcher’s defense is important
-AAA pitchers aren’t good
-the PCL is a hitters environment
-the Giants don’t have openings for high potential 1b/C types
To Sabean’s credit, the first three points are basically correct. The problem is, they don’t seem to be terribly relevant. From what I can gather (mostly from Kevin Goldstein’s scouting reports), Posey’s defense is adequate and he’s thrown out 44% of baserunners (12 CS in 27 attempts). And while the pitching might not be great and the hitting environment fantastic, one glance at Posey’s sweet stroke corroborates the gaudy triple slash. According to the THT Forecasts page, his current Major League Equivalent line is .282/.368/.410, good for a .348 wOBA. That’s in line with the .354 wOBA projected by Oliver.
That brings me to the last bullet, how do Bochy and staff find reps for Posey with Bengie Molina and Aubrey Huff standing in the way? It’s my personal opinion that the Giants are a good team. I don’t believe their roster is better than the Dodgers or the Rockies but it can certainly keep up. Nor do I think playing it safe with Bengie Molina (.323 wOBA) or Aubrey Huff (.350 wOBA) is a luxury the Giants can really afford. When a team’s innate talent isn’t better than its main competitors it seems like a good time to take a shot on the upside talent. Sure, Posey’s WAR projection is similar to that of Molina and Huff, but it’s a bit of a high variance projection. With Molina and Huff, we know they’re going to go on playing basically as well as they have been. There’s no upside to speak of but the downside risk is minimal. With Posey he could enter the league and scuffle like Matt Wieters. Or he could completely dominate in his first spin through the bigs the way Joe Mauer did in 2004. Or he could play to his projections.
I can only assume the Giants are aware of these potential outcomes. If indications that Posey isn’t nearing a call up are true, then it means the Giants think the risk outweighs the potential gains. Conversely, Sabean could be blowing a lot of smoke up our collective bungholes. He could just be asking Posey to force his way onto the roster. We should know soon. The Giants return home from a seven game road trip to host the Oakland Athletics on June 11, if they intend to end this charade that seems like the perfect time to do it.
Next Up: Sir Stephen Strasburg