San Francisco Giants: The Best Willie Mac Award Seasons
Buster Posey (2012)
Wins Above Replacement: 7.3
Posey was drafted in 2008, was brought up in September of 2009, won Rookie of the Year in 2010 and led the Giants to their first World Series since 1954. After an injury in May of the next season that had him out for the year, Posey came back in 2012 and dominated. He won the Most Valuable Player award in the National League, led the Giants to a second World Series and won Comeback Player of the Year as well.
He was also awarded with the Willie Mac award that season. It is currently the best season of any past winner in history. While his performance on the field was outstanding, the true measure of the Posey’s season came from how unlikely it was that he would return from a broken leg and come back stronger than ever.
Madison Bumgarner (2014)
Wins Above Replacement: 4
Bumgarner may have earned a 4-win season in 2014, but his performance in the post-season was even bigger. And while the Willie Mac award is only based on regular season performance, it is impossible to talk about 2014 and Bumgarner without talking about the playoffs.
October has always been where “MadBum” has shown brightest, and 2014 was the epitome of that. His numbers were staggering, allowing a single run the entire World Series, lowering his career World Series ERA to 0.25. His career post-season numbers have to be seen to be believed.
And 2014 was also the official transition from aces Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain to Bumgarner. While Lincecum and Cain were struggling with health and production heading into the season, Madison was becoming the ace of the staff. His numbers in 2014 were the best of his career to that point, and he has continued to dominate since. That season, however, was the announcement to the baseball world that Bumgarner was as good a pitcher as their is in baseball.