Buster Posey has the Joe Mauer-esque potential to win a batting title from the catcher position. The San Francisco Giants star has experienced a meteoric rise. The 2008 draftee skipped AA altogether and a got a September call up in 2009 and was the league’s rookie offensive leader with a .305/.375/.505 line for the 2010 World Series Champions. He has certainly lived the phrase “the sky is the limit.”
Adversity finally struck in May 2011 in the form of a collision at home plate which resulted in a broken leg and a wiped out sophomore season. This adversity represents opportunity for you. A slow start to the 2011 season, combined with spending a year out of the spotlight, has Posey at an ADP of 60 on MockDraftCentral.com, making him the fourth or fifth catcher drafted.
Fangraphs’ fan projections have Posey with a .293/.367/.458 line in 2012, with 17 HRs, 26 doubles, 3 triples, 74 runs and 88 RBIs in 556 PA. That slash line is conservative when compared to Posey's rookie campaign and AAA numbers (.349/.442/.552 in 208 PAs in AAA in 2010). Especially when considering Posey is fully expected to be behind the plate on opening day. Bill James is more optimistic, projecting a .304/.370/.474 line for 2012.
Hitting in San Francisco's anemic line-up, Posey is going to struggle to hang with the league's elite offensive players in runs and RBIs. The Giants didn’t bolster a weak line-up around Posey going into 2011 which resulted in the second lowest run total in the league (570) and the lowest RBI total (534). Posey's return will clearly help, and it's safe to expect an added boost from a full season of plate appearances for Brandon Belt and the addition of Melky Cabrera to the line-up for 2012.
A big consideration for Posey's ADP is the positional scarcity at catcher. Carlos Santana, the catcher with the highest current ADP, is coming off a season ending leg injury of his own and has been a serious drain on a team's average in the past. Mike Napoli may have reached his high point in 2011 with a career year he is unlikely to repeat. Joe Mauer has all the ability in the world but also represents a huge risk given his inability to stay on the field.
After those guys and the steady Brian McCann, you're gambling on a guy like Matt Wieters, or worse, you're feeling mighty queasy every time you set your catcher position throughout the year. Nab Posey towards the end of the fifth round (in 12-team leagues) and you may just end up with the best catcher in your league. His ADP of 106 on ESPN.com means ESPN players could find even greater value in drafting the young backstop.
Written by Ryan Coombs exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com. Follow Ryan on Twitter @RMCoombs.
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