Buster Posey‘s once stellar offensive and defensive numbers are on the decline. In essentially every category, Posey’s production has started to diminish. But fret not, there is a solution. The solution is a rather obvious, and inevitable one; move Posey to third base. Match Pablo Sandoval‘s lofty expectations for a contract extension, with the fact the San Francisco Giants’ already huge pay-roll for next season, and you get: Sandoval becoming a free agent. Which leaves a void at third. A void which should be filled by Posey.
While I do love having Buster, a National League MVP catcher, behind the dish, his offense is simply too valuable to risk. When he received a colossal, eight-year-$167-million-deal, it was due to his all round game. His defensive skills, his offensive skills and his leadership from behind the plate. As nice as it would be maintain the complete skill-set from Posey, we must accept the inevitable. His offensive production is his most valuable asset, and therefore, we must save it.
You may ask; how can one assume his declining numbers are as a result of catching? Well – there is an undeniable correlation in his splits. As a first baseman, Posey has a slash line of; .392/.444/.541, with two homers, 10 runs batted in and 14 runs. He owns a wOBA of .433 and a wRC+ of 188. All in only 21 games. A small sample size maybe, but it is most certainly more encouraging than his numbers as a catcher.
This season, from the behind the dish, Posey’s stats like look this: He has a slash of .258/.320/.406, matched with a BABIP of .261 and a wRC+ of 108. One last comparison: His wRAA, the god of all offensive metrics, as a catcher is 1.8, whereas, as a first baseman, his wRAA is 7.6. Yeah, that is a 5.8 difference. You can draw your own summary, but it’s pretty clear. Posey needs to be moved to third.
An interesting point was made by Tim Kawakami, of Mercury News; Craig Biggio was a catcher for the Houston Astros, and at age 26, he was moved to second base. He is set to enter the Hall of Fame next season. Just saying. I mean, I know it’s difficult to accept that Posey may never put on a mask after this season,after all he has done for us, but the move is needed.
Rather than dwell on the history, as beautiful as it is – the two World Series, the MVP, the Rookie of the Year, the batting title – we need to look to the future. Moving Posey to third, can spark a dimension of his offense we have never seen before. Remember the ridiculous splits I showed you above? Imagine that, but on a scale of 164 games. It could be beautiful. It will be beautiful. Move Buster Posey to third base, Boch.