San Francisco Giants catcher Buster PoseyÂ received plenty of attention for his work as a rookie backstop during the regular season. And on the postseason stage, that exposure has only intensified.
After starting the year in the minors, Posey thrust himself into NL Rookie of the Year candidacy by hitting .305 with 18 homers and 67 RBIs in 108 games. From what I’ve read, he provided sound defense. And he consistently hit in the middle of the Giants’ lineup.
Posey had four hits and drove in two runs in Wednesday’s Game 4 of the NLCS against the Phillies, helping to put the Giants in front in the best-of-7 series 3-1. He drove in another run in Thursday’s loss.
He now has 11 career postseason hits, which is one more than Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer has in his career. Posey – just like any young catcher thatÂ gets called upÂ – has drawn comparisons to Mauer.
The question I would ask is: If you were starting a big league team and could build around one of these two catchers, which would you choose? Posey or Mauer?
It’s not an easy one to call. Posey has had about 400 big league at-bats, so that’s not exactly a big sample size to judge him. He’s just as likely to endure a sophomore slump next year, or he might put up numbers similar or better than he did this season. You just don’t know.
With Mauer, you pretty much do. Every year, he’s going to be in the batting race. He’s still the only catcher in American League history to win a batting title, and he’s done it three times.
But while Mauer might be the more disciplined hitter, I would say, even now, Posey is the more powerful one. Hitting 18 homers in 400 at-bats in your rookie year is nothing to sneeze at. Mauer has had only one season where he’s hit more than 13, albeit that was an MVP season in 2009 that saw him hit 28.
My answer right now would still be Mauer. But another year like this one from Posey makes that decision a whole lot tougher.