Does Buster Posey need to be moved to third base in the offseason?


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.