Batting Eighth: Buster Posey, catcher
Imagine if this lineup had a prime Buster Posey? The face of the Giants dynasty from 2010-2014 had to consistently carry subpar lineups filled with struggling veteran bats and other fillers. Maybe now the team can return the favor. After opting out of the 2020 season out of concerns for his family’s safety amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Posey could return to a lineup that will not need him to be exceptional, just competent.
Top prospect Joey Bart may be the heir apparent for Posey’s job, but 2020 showed the time to pass the torch has not come quite yet. Posey’s offensive decline in recent years has been obvious. In 2019, he hit just .257/.320/.368. However, that would be a huge upgrade over what the Giants got offensively from their catchers, Bart included, last season.
Defensively, Posey is still one of the best in baseball. Even if his offensive game plateaus at his 2019 level of production, he’ll still have positive value on the field. Of course, Giants fans saw firsthand what rest and the new coaching staff could help unlock in veterans like Belt and Crawford. It’s not out of the question to hope the same could be true for Posey.
Just a few years ago, Posey posted an .861 OPS and won the Silver Slugger award. As his offensive output declined, his strikeout rate remained strong (16% in 2019). He could work counts and foul off tough pitches, but It just seemed like injuries and the toll of playing in at least 140 games for so many consecutive seasons had stripped him of the ability to drive the ball. Now with a year off, perhaps his body is rejuvenated enough to hit 15-20 home runs once again.