Posey will rejoin the Giants' lineup in 2012 after his sophomore season ended in late May. On a close play at home plate, Florida Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins bowled over Posey, and the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year could not get up.
Posey suffered a broken left ankle and torn ligaments in his lower left leg. He should recover in plenty of time for spring training (and almost certainly for Opening Day), but since the moment Cousins collided with Posey, the question has hung heavy over the Giants, their front office and their fans: Will Posey remain at catcher going forward?
It's an important question. Posey has a .294/.353/.462 career batting line, which is hardly elite for a first baseman or corner outfielder. Behind the plate, though, that qualifies as premium production.
Catching in MLB is hard, hellish work. One can expect something like 250 foul tips per year to ricochet off their face mask, their chest protector or worse. They spend nine innings five days per week in a deep crouch, often in extreme heat, wearing cumbersome equipment. They spend roughly five times as much time in meetings and video rooms as the average position player.
For that reason, backstops are selected for their defensive chops. That's just the way it is. Offensive-minded catchers are few and far between. Yet, for those teams lucky enough to find one (and keep him healthy), the advantage of having such a player is tremendous.
Here are the 15 best offensive seasons ever logged by catchers, something to dream on for Giants fans who hope Posey can one day join the likes of Mike Piazza and Johnny Bench on catching's Mt. Rushmore.