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Buster Posey

San Francisco Giants: How Buster Posey can still win the 2015 NL MVP

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May 29, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) works the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports.

Ever since the San Francisco Giants began their decline in August, Buster Posey’s hopes to retain his National League MVP honors became a bit of a stretch. Nonetheless, Posey has continued to rake and do his thing as he has arguably been the best overall hitter in the league, undoubtedly ensuring the 2015 NL Silver Slugger Award.

By The Numbers:

The former Rookie of the Year and 3-time World Series champion currently is slashing .327/.390/.488, while launching 19 home runs and driving in 93 RBIs.

His .327 batting average ranks 4th in the MLB and 3rd in the NL.

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  • His 93 RBIs ranks 17th in the MLB and 8th in the NL.

    His .390 OBP ranks 8th in the MLB and 6th in the NL.

    His .998 fielding percentage ranks 4th in the MLB and 2nd in the NL.

    His 5.9 WAR ranks 10th in the NL.

    His .879 OPS ranks 7th in the NL.

    His 168 hits ranks 5th in the NL.

    It’s The Final Countdown:

    With just 11 games remaining in the 2015 season, Posey’s Giants do not have any wiggle room as they are 7 games back of the first place Los Angeles Dodgers. Our own Matt Connolly has already mapped out the improbable, yet possible, scenario that San Francisco would have to take in order to reach the postseason. Nevertheless, this is about Posey and proving that he still has a chance.

    San Francisco making the playoffs and Posey winning the NL MVP go hand and hand. It’s pretty simple, if Posey can lead San Francisco to the promise land, the MVP is his. Let me break it down.

    The Breakdown:

    The strongest candidates for the NL MVP this year are:

    Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals)

    Sep 17, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; A Washington Nationals fan holds a sign for Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (not pictured) against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

    Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona Diamondbacks)

    Zack Greinke (Los Angeles Dodgers)

    Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs)

    Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh Pirates)

    Yoenis Cespedes (New York Mets)

    Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants)

    Let’s cross some of these guys off the list right now. Goldschmidt has had an incredible year, including a .318 batting average, 30 home runs, and is in the top-10 in almost every offensive category. However, if anybody on this list who is not on a contending team that is deserving of the MVP, it will be Harper. Being on a contending team is essential.

    As for Greinke, he has locked up the NL Cy Young Award, and should be content with that. In order for a pitcher to be worthy of an MVP award, the numbers and results have to be absolutely out of this world. Although Greinke has been great this year, when comparing his numbers to Clayton Kershaw’s MVP year in 2014, Greinke has a slightly less ERA (G: 1.65, K: 1.77), yet has three less wins (G: 18, K: 21), 54 less strikeouts (G: 185, K: 239), and 0.5 less WAR (G: 7.0, K: 7.5).

    “By no means will it be easy, but if San Francisco can pull off the impossible with Posey leading the charge, the Giants’ captain can prove himself to be the true 2015 NL MVP”

    Arguably the mid-season acquisition of the decade, Cespedes has been nothing short of incredible as in just 201 at-bats, he has hit for a .289 batting average, 17 home runs, and 42 RBIs. With that being said, the Cuban slugger has only played in the National League for 48 games as he played in the American League with the Detroit Tigers for the majority of the season before being traded. Although he is on an unfathomable hot streak, he has just a 2.0 WAR and has not played enough in the NL to earn the honor.

    Sep 21, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (44) hits a single during the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

    Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals)

    Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona Diamondbacks)

    Zack Greinke (Los Angeles Dodgers)

    Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs)

    Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh Pirates)

    Yoenis Cespedes (New York Mets)

    Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants)

    This leaves us with four candidates left. Why is Harper still on the list? Well, I am convinced that Harper has done everything in his power to try and propel his team to the playoffs, and it is not his fault for the rest of the Nationals’ disappointing year. In the 2015 season, the kid is leading the MLB in batting average (.342), on-base-percentage (.471), slugging percentage (.672), OPS (1.144), runs scored (116), and WAR (10.2). Sorry for the long list, but to put it bluntly, Harper has hit the crap out of the ball.

    So, if Harper is leading in almost every category, of course he is going to win the NL MVP, right? Wrong.

    This is where it gets interesting. As mentioned before, being on a contending team is vital to earning the label of being the MVP, and there is absolutely nothing more valuable than winning. Three of the four remaining candidates, Rizzo, McCutchen, and Posey, all have one thing in common: they are on contending teams. Therefore, if one of these three can tear the cover off the ball and at least give Harper a run for his money, I guarantee you that, not all of them, but many of the MVP voters will give the playoff contending players the upper edge. Not only Posey, but McCutchen and Rizzo too all have an opportunity to make something special happen in the final weeks.

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    Posey’s Opportunity:

    Since we are Giants fans, lets get back to Posey and see where he sits in this race. Posey’s numbers are listed above and many are ranked in the top-10 in the MLB. By no means will it be easy, but if San Francisco can pull off the impossible with Posey leading the charge, the Giants’ captain can prove himself to be the true 2015 NL MVP.

    Posey might not be able to catch Harper in the statistics category, but prevailing in the most impossible of times can very much show the world what he and the Giants are all about. In these final 11 games, if Posey can hit .400, blast three or four home runs, add around 10 more RBIs, and, most importantly, lead the Giants to another NL West title, his stats and division championship are enough to prove him as the 2015 Most Valuable Player in the National League. San Francisco and Posey both have nothing to prove after 3 World Series championships, but why not stay hungry and do the impossible? As the great Michael Jordan’s cliché says, “Impossible is nothing.”

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