The San Francisco Giants have a three game lead on the Pittsburgh Pirates for the first Wild Card spot. With 19 games remaining, their playoff odds sit at a cool 94 percent. Buster Posey has been instrumental in helping to lead the Giants to October.
Posey started off the season slowly. On June 13, the 27 year-old catcher and first baseman was hitting a rather pedestrian .267/.329/.401. Those are decent numbers to be sure, but far below his career standards. Considering that he posted a .244/.333/.310 line in the second half of 2013, fans and analysts alike were concerned.
Posey has allayed their fears over his last 70 games. In that span he owns a remarkable .342/.390/.565 slash line. He’s popped 34 extra-base hits, including 12 home runs. After displaying a lack of power in 2013’s second half that continued through the first 2.5 months of the 2014 season, Posey has posted the second-best full season isolated slugging percentage of his career.
In the last 30 days, Posey has been even hotter. He’s batting .382/.407/.686 for a 211 wRC+. He’s hit seven of his home runs and owns baseball’s highest wRC+. Also, his 2.0 fWAR leads baseball. If there was any doubt t
All in all, Posey has produced a .300/.362/.492 batting line with 20 home runs. That comes out to a 143 wRC+, which is a better mark than any other catcher this season. He’s totaled 5.2 fWAR, and that doesn’t include pitch-framing, an aspect of the game in which Posey excels. According to StatCorner, he’s been worth 13.3 runs above average in that department, which is the 7th most in baseball.
Posey is bringing back shades of his fantastic 2012 campaign with this extended hot streak. In that season he .336/.408/.549 for a 164 wRC+ and 7.7 fWAR. Given that he’s been a bona fide star since 2010, when he helped lead the Giants to the World Series title, it’s easy to forget that Posey is only 27.
In the 2012-13 offseason, the Giants wisely locked up Posey nine year deal worth $167 million. For a stretch it might have looked like the Giants had made a poor investment. However, that’s all it was, a stretch. Posey is demonstrating once again that he is one of the best handful of players in the National League. He’s an outstanding defensive catcher who is also one of the top hitters in baseball.