The travails of Florida State Seminole and Giants Catcher of the Future Buster Posey held the attention of prospect types for some time. His treatment at the hands of Brian Sabean — a man some people believe wouldn't even have a job had the Seattle Mariners drafted the skinny local kid as God intended — frustrated both Giants fans and fans of good baseball. Rather than promote the mashing youngster, the Giants opted to re-sign Bengie Molina and hand the back-up job to renowned country crooner Eli Whiteside. Eyes rolled and shouts of "Free Buster!" rang out across the interwebs.
Fast forward to today and, to Sabean's credit, Molina was shipped out for bullpen depth to the COTF basecamp in Texas. While Sabean and Giants manager Bruce Bochy haven't completely caved on their steadfast belief that young Buster needs to learn how to better handle a pitching staff, the Buster Posey: Starting Catcher era is well under way by the bay.
Sure, Posey still makes starts at first base; a bizarre concession to his otherworldly bat that still lets Bochy and Sabean keep their "old school/dumb guy" cred. Buster Posey 's response to his new-found freedom? Complete domination.
The All Star break finds Posey knocking the crap out of the ball to the tune of a .959 OPS, 1.578 in July! Posey just finished an incredible streak of road games, hitting 6 home runs in his past 11 games, driving in 15 over that stretch. Chief among Posey's impressive attributes is his ability to go the other way with power. Of Posey's 7 dingers, 4 went out to the wrong side of center field.
Posey is now, like his COTF brother Carlos Santana (whose numbers are nearly as good if not better), comfortably slotted into the middle of the Giants lineup. Of course this homer-happy barrage; his 54.5% home run per fly ball rate in July is, to borrow a scouting term, a smidge high. But Buster Posey continues to prove he is ready to hit at the major league level. His ability to call a good game wasn't likely to improve much in the hyperbole soaked Pacific Coast League; so on the job training will have to do.