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Fantasy Baseball Catcher Player Profiles: Buster Posey

Coming off of the 2012 NL MVP, Buster Posey was most likely the top rated catcher going into any auction last season, and rightfully so. His 2012 numbers were very MVP worthy:

AB

   H

   R

   HR

   RBI

   SB

   AVG

530

   178

   78

   24

   103

   1

   .336

While a season ending ugly injury in 2011 season did cast a cloud of doubt over him, the numbers weren’t a huge shock, given what he had done in 2010. Posey was a much hyped rookie in 2010 who came through to meet expectations:

AB

   H

   R

   HR

   RBI

   SB

   AVG

406

   124

   58

   18

   67

   0

   .305

Lastly, while he won’t win another MVP award, Posey also posted a fine 2013, good enough to finish as a Top-5 catcher on most player raters:

AB

   H

   R

   HR

   RBI

   SB

   AVG

520

   153

   61

   15

   73

   2

   .294

So where do all of those numbers leave us with Posey going into 2014 drafts?

 

What I like:

Posey will turn 27 right before opening day in 2014, meaning he is hitting his prime!  He may even find some serious 30 home run power as he gets close to 28, which is the magic age for home run pop.

Second, he has notched 500+ at-bats in both of his full seasons after his rookie year—when he was a May call up.  Getting 500+ at-bats is a bonus at the catcher position, as even most of the best catchers will record 400-450 at-bats.

Lastly, Posey is going to be the 3 or 4 hitter once again for the Giants, so he is bound to get good RBI opportunities. This season, the leading RBI men for catchers were Mike Napoli (92) and Victor Martinez (83), and both should lose catcher eligibility in 2014. So, if Posey can get close to replicating 2012 again with at or around 100 RBI, then you are in some real bonus area from catcher production.

What I don’t like:

Well Posey is a catcher. He is probably at best looking at 525 at-bats unless he starts to play a lot more first base (or possibly third base). So you have to put it in perspective as how much money to spend on him or what round to draft him. If  you can get a guy like Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, or Bryce Harper and take Posey, you may miss out on 100-125+ at-bats, which of course means you’re missing out on production.

Also, catcher is MUCH deeper than in years past. Even with guys like Napoli and Martinez losing catcher eligibility, you have a lot of good options behind the dish. So there is no real need to grab the top guy off the board if it means losing out on elite, or borderline elite hitters at other positions.  I was one who overrated Posey last season, just like I overrated Joe Mauer at his peak.  I was in favor of taking Posey in the area of pick 10-14 in snake drafts and even spending upwards of $20-$25 in auctions.

Aside from the little chance that you get 600 at-bats out of him, Posey has two other things working against him. One is common at the catcher position, the other isn’t.

  1. He doesn’t run. Now, no catcher stole even 10 bases in 2013, so you’re not exactly dropping behind base at the position. Still, it is worth noting that he provide that bonus.
  2. He isn’t a 25 home run guy, and although no catcher hit that in 2013, plenty of catchers are capable of getting to 25, or at least close to it.

So you need Buster to hit over .300. He is a .308 career hitter, so that seems possible, or even likely. But you also really get around 90 RBI, possibly pushing 100 or more.  The tricky thing with RBI are that you are relying on so much on guys other than Posey, as the guys hitting in front of Buster have to get on base.

 

With all that said, here is my (early) final verdict:

Buster Posey is without a doubt ranked my top catcher, and that probably won’t change any time soon as he is young and a great player. Having said that, my attitude on Posey has changed as a fantasy player.

He is no longer a first round player, he may not even be a second round player depending on who is available. As a hitter, Posey is looking a lot like Mauer, his predecessor as the top catcher.  He still has time to up the power output. If he does that, Posey may crack the conversation as a Top-15 hitter once again.

However, for what you get in Buster, you may be be able to match his production with a later round or cheaper option in any draft with guys like Salvador Perez, Jonathan Lucroy or Wilin Rosario

My advice is to curb your desire for a catcher early.

Tags: Buster Posey C Catcher San Francisco Giants

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