MLB

Buster Posey Named NL MVP After Leading Giants to World Series Crown

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 28:  Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates after defeating the Detroit Tigers to win Game Four of the Major League Baseball World Series at Comerica Park on October 28, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in the tenth inning to win the World Series in 4 straight games.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2012

Just over a year ago, when San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey suffered major leg injuries after a collision at home plate, few predicted he would be in this position.

He's a World Series champion, again, and now has been named the National League's Most Valuable Player for 2012 by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

BREAKING: @sfgiants catcher @busterposey wins @officialbbwaa National League MVP Award.

MLB (@MLB) November 15, 2012

 

Posey returned from the scary incident with a bang, posting the best numbers of his career to lead the Giants into the playoffs. Of course, the MVP is awarded for regular-season accomplishments only, but helping bring home another title to San Francisco was impressive nonetheless.

The 25-year-old superstar hit .336 to win the batting title to go along with 24 home runs and 103 runs batted in, powering a Giants offense that lacked punch elsewhere in the lineup. His 8.0 WAR (Fangraphs) was second to only Los Angeles Angels rookie Mike Trout.

Discussion about his stats could go on for days, from his on-base percentage eclipsing the .400 mark for the first time to an improved walk rate illustrating his growth as a hitter, but the reason he deserved the award goes beyond numbers.

The Giants were locked in a tight playoff race when outfielder Melky Cabrera, who was tearing the cover off the ball, was suspended in the middle of August for tests that showed elevated levels of testosterone.

At that point, San Francisco reached a fork in the road. The season was either going to collapse or the team was going to come together and keep pushing toward the playoffs. Posey stepped up to ensure the latter would be true.

That's what being valuable is all about. The best players are able to rise to the occasion when their teams need them most, and Posey certainly did that. Without him, the Giants likely never would have had a chance to win their second championship in three years.

Andrew McCutchen, Ryan Braun and underrated St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina all deserved some attention for their terrific seasons, but in the end, nobody was able to produce the type of season Posey did while under immense pressure.

In most cases, picking winners for the major awards leads to plenty of debate from all corners of the country. That wasn't really the case for the NL MVP in 2012. A vast majority of people agreed Posey was the most deserving choice.

Now he has another piece of hardware for his trophy case, which is already pretty full for a player with plenty of productive seasons to come. The Giants are lucky to have him.

 

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