Monday, September 24, 2012

Buster Posey for MVP

The National League MVP used to be one of the more boring awards this year, as it was basically a one man race between Andrew McCutchen and the rest of the world.  Ryan Braun has been consistently elite in 2012 as well, and is submitting a season about equal to his MVP performance last year.  But since the All-Star break, McCutchen started to become more human, and Buster Posey began to turn into a fire-breathing baseball machine.  And he has just about earned himself the award.

Let's talk about his second half.  Because it's historic.  A .383/.455/.639 AVG/OBP/SLG line is beyond any expectations that were thrown his way.  Take a walk back to May 25, 2012, a year removed from his crushing ankle injury.  He was batting a respectable .290 and the giants were 4 games behind the Dodgers still.  People had no reason to panic, but nothing special seemed to be on the horizon.  Four months later the Giants are 10 games up and a 25-year old catcher, our catcher, has a chance to be named the best player in the NL.

In Buster Posey's second half, he's hitting .350 in 4
places outside of the strike zone.

The offensive arguments are there for Braun and McCutchen, as they match or exceed Buster in a number of categories.  But they play left field and center field, respectively, which are two of the most talented positions in the majors.  And while both hold their own defensively, neither players are considered highly above average according to UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating).  Posey equals each on the defensive side, and plays a much harder position.  Plus, quality catchers hardly grow on trees these days.  The difference between Posey and the average starting catcher is much greater than Ryan Braun and the average left fielder, especially offensively.  According to Bay City Ball, Buster is hitting better than any first baseman in the league. The most offensive-oriented position in the league can't hold a candle to Buster Freakin' Posey. In early September Posey had already achieved the greatest season for a Giants catcher ever. That is an enourmous value that the Giants get to take advantage of.

Honestly, it comes down to the fact that there is only one Buster Posey.  And that's what will win the voters over.  And rightfully so, because his story is incredible.  Many thought he would maybe get 400 plate appearances at the most considering how awful and career-threatening his injury was.  He has 580.  He came back stronger and with more resilience than anybody expected, leading his team in every connotation of the word.  The Giants are going to the playoffs on his shoulders, while the Brewers and Pirates are just not quite there.  When looking back at the lack of offense for the 2011 team, it is now so clear how truly valuable Posey is to this franchise.

He is the Chosen One, and he deserves to be the 2012 NL MVP.

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