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San Francisco Giants: 5 most important players for the second half

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 03: Joe Panik #12 of the San Francisco Giants is congratulated by Buster Posey #28 after he hit a home run in the fourth inning against the Seattle Mariners at AT&T Park on April 3, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 03: Joe Panik #12 of the San Francisco Giants is congratulated by Buster Posey #28 after he hit a home run in the fourth inning against the Seattle Mariners at AT&T Park on April 3, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 28: Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants watches the umpires review a hit of his in the third inning of their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Oracle Park on June 28, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The hit was originally ruled a home run but was overturned to a ground rule double. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 28: Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants watches the umpires review a hit of his in the third inning of their game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Oracle Park on June 28, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The hit was originally ruled a home run but was overturned to a ground rule double. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

C Buster Posey

Buster Posey has been one of the most consistent players in the league for the past nine years. While his play from the crouch cannot be criticized, his production at the plate this year has been far from normal.

In 2019, Posey has hit just .253/.315/.378 with three home runs and 22 RBI in 217 at-bats.

That’s an awful long way from his career .303/.372/.461 line, and he’s averaged 17 home runs and 81 RBI in seasons where he has recorded more than 400 at-bats. Clearly, he’s not producing up to the high standard he’s set over the course of his career.

Coming off of season-ending hip surgery, Posey spent the offseason rehabbing rather than improving his game. As a result, the 2012 NL MVP stumbled out of the gates to a slow start.

That said, he’s picked it up of late.

Since June 28, Posey is hitting .423 with three extra-base hits and four RBI in 28 plate appearances. He was moved out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup, hitting second or fourth instead, and he’s looked more comfortable at the plate.

With two years left on his contract and an option year in 2022, the Giants are banking on a productive Posey not only this year but in future years. His veteran leadership during the rebuild will be crucial, and there’s no better way to lead than by example.

With touted catching prospect Joey Bart already playing at High-A San Jose, it seems that Posey’s days behind the plate are numbered. A move to first base is coming, and that will put even more pressure on his bat.

As a leader on the field and in the clubhouse, Posey will have to continue to elevate his play in order to get younger players to follow suit. His postseason experience and MVP mentality will prove priceless when grooming the stars of the future.

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