NLCS 2010: This Buster Posey Kid Is Pretty Damn Good

Jason GlogauContributor IOctober 21, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 20:  Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants hits an RBI double against the Philadelphia Phillies in the third inning of Game Four of the NLCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at AT&T Park on October 20, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

For those of you outside the cities of San Francisco and Philadelphia, I've got some news for you.

Buster Posey is a damn fine ballplayer.

I don't just mean he could have a good career.  I mean he's already one of the top five catchers in baseball.

No, that's not a joke or an exaggeration.

The numbers speak for themselves.  A .305/.357/.505 triple slash line over 443 plate appearances.  Eighteen home runs, 67 RBI and 58 runs scored.  A respectable strikeout rate (13.5 percent) and a good arm (his 37.1 percent of runners caught ranked fourth in the National League in 2010).

And it's not just luck.  His .315 BABIP (batting average on balls in-play) was significantly lower than his minor league BABIP.

He might not be Joe Mauer—yet—but he sure looks like a young Mauer.  His pure ability to hit is special, and his knowledge of the game far surpasses that of most players his age.  Sounds a lot like Mauer at 23.

And he knows how to handle a pitching staff, too, as the Giants led the major leagues in ERA, strikeouts, and hits allowed in 2010.  Though they do have a great staff that also excelled in 2009, the catcher is still responsible for calling the game and gaining the pitchers' trust and confidence (allowing the pitcher to focus on making his pitch, instead of worrying about pitch selection).

But where Posey's star has really shone bright, has been the postseason.  Hitting .344/.400/.438, Posey has been an imposing force in the middle of the San Francisco lineup.  He hasn't had the flashy numbers—0 HR, 2 RBI, 4 R and a SB—but he's been a smart and productive hitter, driving the ball hard and working great at bats.

And if the Giants make it to the World Series, Posey's star will no longer be a secret.