Player Profile: Buster Posey

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Player Profile: Buster Posey

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Playing in his sixth season as a catcher, Buster Posey has already earned the top awards from: the Major League Baseball (MLB), his home team, the San Francisco Giants, fans, and media all over the country. Since being drafted as the 5th overall pick in the 2008 amateur draft by the Giants, the superstar has quickly become a fan favorite and ranks at the top of his position. Born March 27, 1987 in Leesburg, Georgia, Posey was given the name Gerald Dempsey Posey III, not “Buster” as we all know him by. The nickname “Buster” was one passed down by his family and given by his father to Gerald, the oldest among three siblings. In addition to being called “the best catcher I’ve ever thrown to” by his teammate Ryan Vogelsong, Buster has even been referred to as the West Coast version of Derek Jeter, a renowned shortstop for the New York Yankees.

Buster played for Florida State University after being a four-sport athlete in college. In one baseball game, Posey played all nine positions while using 4 different gloves. The former Seminole was previously drafted in 2005 by the Angels in the 50th round, but declined to sign a deal. Luckily for the Giants, he was still around during their pick in the ‘08 draft.

Posey’s first game was September 11, 2009, against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Although he struck out in his only at-bat that night, Posey retaliated a week later as he got his first hit against the Dodgers. His rookie campaign was definitely not a very impressive showcase, as he barely batted over .100 without any runs batted in and with four strikeouts. In 2010, things completely turned around as Posey took over the starting job as catcher and began displaying his true talent and sheer skill on the field. For his effort and athletic ability, Buster was awarded the National League Rookie of the Year Award after receiving 20 of the 30 first place votes. Did I forget to mention that he helped lead the San Francisco Giants to their first World Series title since 1954 in same season?

In 2011, the hometown hero suffered a serious bone fracture and torn ligaments to his left leg after a home plate collision. Because of this incident, the MLB created the “Posey Rule,” which was put into effect to help protect catchers. The risk of playing behind the plate has caused many managers to convert them, especially those who are good batters, to one of the other seven defensive positions. Despite the dangers of this position, Posey welcomed the challenges ahead and said that, “I think anybody that catches shares a bond. You know what it takes to play the position from a physical and mental standpoint.”

As the 2012 campaign began, fans eagerly awaited Posey’s return from the horrific injury from the previous season. In fact, his 2012 season may have been the best of his career to this date. That season, he earned some of the most prestigious awards in baseball: National League (NL) Silver Slugger, NL Comeback Player of the Year, Hank Aaron Award, his second World Series ring in a span of three years, and hopefully the first of many, NL Most Valuable Player Award. In fact, Buster was the first NL catcher to win the MVP since Johnny Bench did it in 1972.

Before Spring Training 2013, the two-time All Star signed a nine-year/ $167 million contract to remain with the Giants and then become the face of their franchise. He thanked the San Francisco organization for their commitment to him by saying, “It’s hard to put into words what I feel right now, just an incredible feeling to know that for the next nine years I’ll be a part of this very storied franchise…I’m incredibly humbled to know I’ll be a part of that.”

Buster is currently having a solid 2014 season and ranks in the top five among the Giants in hits, RBI’s, home runs, and runs scored. He looks to help the Orange-and-Black continue their winning ways and capture yet another NL West title and hopefully another World Series championship.

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