Buster Posey has always been a remarkable athlete. In high school he played four sports; baseball, soccer, basketball and football. Obviously he excelled at baseball, playing pitcher and shortstop, where he rewrote the school’s record books. Following his senior season at Lee County High School, Buster was named Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year, Louisville Slugger State Player of the Year, EA Sports All-American and Baseball America All-American. He accomplished all this while still maintaining a 3.94 GPA.
With a strong desire to play in college, Buster did not sign after being drafted by the Angels in the 50th round. He attended Florida State University where he made an immediate impact. After playing shortstop his freshman year, Buster was moved to catcher because of the team’s lack of depth at the position. The following season, Posey won the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Award, both recognizing the best collegiate player in the nation. Buster proved his diverse athletic ability by once playing all nine positions in a single game, and topped it off with a grand slam.
John Barr, the Giants head of scouting, had this to say regarding the 2008 draft,
“When we drafted Buster Posey (first round), he was a guy we had earmarked early on as someone we really liked. We were very excited to have Buster available when we selected. We felt he could be a difference-maker — both from an offensive and defensive standpoint, as well as from a team-leadership standpoint.”
Barr and the rest of the Giants front office could not have labeled Posey any better. Despite being regarded as the best player in the draft, four teams passed on him due to his hefty contract demands. The Giants viewed him as a once in a generation type of player, and handed him a $6.2 million signing bonus, the largest in franchise history.
While the Giants deemed his bat major-league ready very early, questions were raised about his defense as a catcher. Having only been at the position for a couple years, the Giants believed he could use a little extra seasoning. He played roughly a year and a half of minor-league action before forcing his way up to a 2010 team desperate for offense.
He would hit .305 with 18 home runs and 67 RBIs en route to a National League Rookie of the Year Award. He became the first catcher to hit cleanup in the World Series since Johnny Bench.
His 2011 was wiped out due to a broken leg sustained during a collision at home plate and people began to wonder if the Giants should move their franchise player to a safer position.
"I'm not gonna lie," Buster said. "After a couple of months, there were some thoughts that maybe it wouldn't be bad to move. Then the more I thought about it, I realized how much I enjoy catching. As hard as I've worked to get back behind the plate, I want to catch for as long as I possibly can."
Nobody was sure how he would respond the following year but Buster silenced all critics with one of the most remarkable performances to date. He won the National League batting title hitting .336, started the All-Star game, won the Silver Slugger Award, won the National League Most Valuable Player Award and helped the Giants to their second World Series Championship in three years. His MVP trophy marked the first time a catcher won the award since Bench in 1972.
Buster has made a living exceeding people’s expectations, and thousands of Giants fans are curious to see what he can do for an encore.
He has appeared on numerous magazine covers, including recently Men’s Health, and has truly become a hero to people all across the country with his on-field performance and the absence of any off-field concerns. The Giants are currently exploring a long-term contract to keep Buster in black and orange for the foreseeable future.