He had some interesting comments that I thought I would share:
- "Buster Posey is one of the safer bets in the minors to live up to his lofty prospect rating. He certainly has the talent and athleticism to emerge as an average or better big league hitter, but that isn’t to say that Posey’s swing is already maximized. As good as he is right now, he still has room to improve the efficiency of his swing."
"Posey’s bat is very close to being big-league ready. He blends bat speed, swing quickness, leverage, and very good plate discipline into one package."
- "Posey doesn’t have a large, power-hitter’s frame, but he’s an excellent athlete and his abilities show in his natural and smooth stroke. He keeps his upper body tall and doesn’t hunch over, giving him the ability to reach any pitch in the strike zone. His upper body loading pattern is very similar to that of Matt Holliday. "
- "Posey is able to get his hands inside the ball well, showing that he can fight off tough, inside pitches and maintain a high line drive rate. He keeps his hands back well, which gives him time to see the ball just about as long as possible. Posey gets the bat into the hitting zone very quickly and is not long to the ball. He also keeps the barrel in the zone for a long time."
- "He loads back with his hands instead of his shoulders -- counter rotating is a common mistake with many hitters who start in an open stance-- and gets to a good launch position on time. There are no forced movements and he is not mechanical. Rarely do you see Posey late, as he has both the bat speed and swing quickness needed to catch up to hard fastballs. Posey sees the ball well and has good plate discipline."
- "Posey can handle a good fastball right now. What may give him trouble moving forward is good off-speed pitches down and away. Given that his natural stroke is to right center, if Posey could maintain his rear hip load better, he would give himself a better chance to drive those pitches rather than fight them off."
- Final Thoughts: "All in all, Posey is a very polished hitter who has an ideal plan at the plate and very well could be the starting catcher for the Giants in 2010. Posey should be a perennial threat to post a .290-300 batting average and rack up his share of doubles. He also has the potential to produce a very strong on-base percentage and garner plenty of walks. He’s not Matt Wieters big, but Posey is strong and has the leverage and bat speed to hit 17-20 home runs a season, with a possible bump up to 25 home runs depending on how he fills out and develops his strength."
Great information on one of the Giants top prospects (many name Bumgarner as the top, but some name Posey). His final thought is pretty good for Posey, that's basically what we have been hoping that Buster develops into: .300 hitter with patience and good power for a catcher. Plus, the great defense he is suppose to provide. He thinks that Posey can take over in 2010, and not a moment too soon, too, as Molina's performance has gone down greatly this season.
As I half seriously suggested in another post, perhaps Posey can be brought up and be our backup catcher and bat off the bench this season, perhaps soon enough to be able to name him to the playoff roster, should we be lucky enough to get in. Nothing against Whiteside, but I think we need a good hitter off the bench more than a backup catcher during the playoffs, particularly since Sandoval should be able to back up that position if necessary and Garko might be able to do that in a pinch as well.
The author also kindly answered a number (OK, long list :^) of questions I threw his way. Here are some of his answers:
- His weaknesses are a minor hindrance. He is very polished and should do well enough from day 1 in the Majors. But that isn't to say he's close to realizing his full potential. In terms of a prospect, he's very advanced. But in terms of being what he could be, he's a bit behind. Not much though.
Yes, alot of hitters do have problems with offspeed down and away. But the true greats figure out at least how to handle those pitches and do some form of damage with them. Posey doesn't have a massive hole there or anything and has a good enough swing to foul them off.
- I think he could step in and be a league average hitter right now. Part of my projection ties in the improvements he needs to (and hopefully) make, and experience gained from playing at that level. He's good enough to get away with his inefficiencies and be a successful player. He doesn't have any red flags. But again, he needs just a tiny bit of refinement to reach his potential.
It looks like Posey is ready as a hitter to come up, so the main question is whether his defense is good enough. That's where it would pay off to sign up a catcher who is strong defensively to mentor him in the majors, like Greg Zaun, Brad Ausmus, or Jose Molina, all of whom I mentioned previously as possible off-season acquisitions as a defensive vet buddy for Posey in 2010.
I think this evaluation shows that Posey will be the starting catcher for the Giants in 2010. He's already in AAA, he is starting to hit there, after being handled for a while. The question is whether his defense will hold up, but if you pair him with a good defensive backup, he could get most of the playing time and the Giants could bring in the backup as a defensive improvement move at the end of games, if necessary, plus he could mentor Posey during the season (though I would assume Bochy could do that too).
And given his readiness, I don't see why he won't get called up this season, perhaps sooner than later to be a good bat off the bench, since Sandoval would do as a backup, as backup catchers are not needed that much during the playoffs.