Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Seasoning Buster Posey

The anticipation of Buster Posey is almost too much these days. He is making absolute waves in Spring Training so far, and fans' #1 question heading into the regular season is when are we going to see Buster?

It seemed like the organization was sending a clear message to its fan-base a couple months ago when they re-signed Benjie Molina in a crazy turn of events. Could that have been a reaction to Posey's first-time experience in the Majors last season? Probably.

It seems like the Giants are being extremely careful with their "future." And the way it is looking, we will probably see Posey starting the year in AAA-Fresno. This is not bad, of course, they did sign Molina, who, next to Aubrey Huff or Pablo Sandoval is the team's best power hitter, and power is what the Giants have been needing for the past few seasons. Plus, I dont think the plan was to give Molina all that money to play back-up catcher.

But what shoud be done with Posey if he is such a key part in the future of the Giants franchise?

I say be gentle with him, he is fragile. People fail to remember that he played most of last season in Single-A, then was promoted to AAA for just a couple of months. Then they promoted him again to the Majors, and that did not turn out all that well. He is still young and there is a lot of time to get him into Major League Baseball shape, because right now he does not appear to be that way.

If the Giants want this kid to be a Rookie of the Year contender when he gets to the Majors (which is what everyone anticipates him to be), they will season him. Season him "low 'n slow" in AAA-Fresno for half the season, and then when the All-Star break comes, promote him to the Majors as the back-up catcher pending that he does well in AAA. Get him some at-bats here and there in 2010 and work him into the the starting roster come the 2011 season.

For now, keep Eli Whiteside at the back-up catcher position. In order for consistent production out of Molina, Molina will need constant time off, and Whiteside is good enough to share the load until Posey is seasoned.

Do not let this discourage you though, Giants fans. Posey will meet the anticipation, but in time. For now, enjoy the other young, solid players gracing the Giants roster this year, guys like Madison Bumgarner and Dan Runzler. But the Giants know they can keep Posey in their back pocket for now, and when he is ready, he will be the next big thing in baseball.

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