Friday, January 9, 2009

2008 Draft in Review: Buster Posey

There were a lot of great college hitters taken in the first round of the 2008 MLB draft, and I think many of them have bright futures ahead of them. One player I'll watch especially close is Buster Posey, the talented catcher from Florida State. While perhaps not he most polished college hitter, I think the Giants made a smart choice when they drafted Posey.

Before we address what the future may hold for Posey, I want to first state that I don't see much power potential in Posey, and I don't think he'll be a dominant offensive player. Despite hitting 26 home runs with 21 doubles in 2008 with FSU, Posey had just 7 home runs (using a metal bat) over 500+ plate appearances between his freshman and sophomore years in college. Translated into wood bat numbers, Posey isn't the most awe inspiring hitter.

However, Posey has made great strides at catcher, and if he can manage to hit .280-.300 with 15-25 home runs, he'll be considered one of the premier players at his position. While the Giants have decent prospects at other positions, they're desperately thin at catcher, and anytime you can fill a premium position in your farm system with a high quality draft pick like Posey, it's hard to say no.

So, for the Giants, Posey made sense at #5 in the draft. But what I think really made it impossible for the Giants to pass up Posey actually had as much to do with their young pitching talent as it did their need of a solid catching prospect. With Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Tim Alderson, and Madison Bumgarner all under the age of 25, it will greatly benefit the Giants to have a dependable, talented catcher that can grow and develop along with their pitching staff. It makes total sense, and I think the Giants investment in Posey should pay some great dividends down the road.

TPC Preliminary Projection: .280-.300 average, 15-25 home runs
TPC Comparable Player: Jason Varitek
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