Position change likely in Posey's future
HOUSTON -- Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin will tell you that it was his son's idea, years ago, to move the team's star shortstop to catcher. The Seminoles had a developing surplus in the middle infield and something of a hole at catcher, but the coach wasn't initially interested in the idea, because the shortstop was really good at what he did and was a natural leader.
But the more that Martin thought about it, the more he liked the notion. So he and his son raised the idea with the shortstop, Buster Posey.
It has been as a catcher that Posey has been able to do things that nobody in the history of baseball accomplished in the first two-plus years of his career. A Rookie of the Year, a Most Valuable Player Award, a batting title, all the while playing behind the plate.
When Posey was in spring training for the first time with the Giants, there was some concern about how good of a defensive catcher he would be, because he didn't have a lot of experience at the position. Now the Giants' staff has a lot of respect for Posey in the way he plays, because of his diligence.
At least part of the reason the Giants invested a record-setting contract in Posey is because of what he brings behind the plate, which was demonstrated repeatedly during the team's two championship runs, like how he settled down Jonathan Sanchez in the midst of the 2010 World Series.
But lest there be any doubt, what separates Posey is his offensive ability, his simple approach to the plate. He drives fastballs to the opposite field, he pulls breaking balls, and he is an extraordinary two-strike hitter; last year, only Joey Votto had a higher on-base percentage in two-strike situations than Posey.
So after the Posey deal was announced Friday, some rival talent evaluators began to wonder when the Giants will start to consider moving Posey to another spot.
"He's a great hitter, and you have to protect that, long-term," said a longtime NL scout.
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