MLB: Posey waiting for his chance with Giants
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy knows a good catcher when he sees one. He spent parts of nine seasons as a catcher in the major leagues.
And he has no doubts about the future of Buster Posey.
“He’s a complete guy,” Bochy said Monday. “He can handle the bat, and has a strong arm behind the plate. He’s an intelligent kid who knows what he’s doing back there. He gets better and better. It’s a matter of time before he’s a front-line catcher in the major leagues.”
The time probably will go much slower than the 23-year-old Posey would like.
Gerald Demp Posey III was the fifth overall pick by the Giants in the 2008 draft and won just about every award imaginable in college baseball at Florida State, including the Golden Spikes Award (top overall player) and the Johnny Bench Award (top catcher).
Posey played in 10 minor-league games in 2008 and 115 in 2009, hitting a combined .327 with 19 home runs and 86 RBIs.
He got called up to the big club on Sept. 2 when veteran starter Bengie Molina suffered an injury. Posey played in seven games and started four after the team dropped from contention in the NL West. After the season, he got more work with the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League.
That probably wasn’t quite enough experience to land him a spot on the 25-man roster when the Giants break camp at the end of March. He knows he likely will begin the season back at Triple-A Fresno, where he can play every day instead of riding the big-league bench.
Posey’s timetable of reaching the majors might have been accelerated had Molina, 35, gone to another club as a free agent over the winter. But Molina decided to return to the Giants, signing a one-year deal.
“The competitor in me wants to help the big club win, but if I do start at Fresno, I’m going to do everything I can to improve and get back up here,” Posey said.
He also was in the big-league camp in the spring of 2009, soaking up everything he could from Molina and reserve Eli Whiteside.
“You learn how to manage your time, how to handle a lot of situations on and off the field,” Posey said. “Bengie has always been a guy I could go to, and I can talk to “Boch” (Bochy) as well. Him being a former catcher is a benefit. If he sees something I need to do, he can relay that to me directly. It simplifies things.”
NOTES: Bochy gave the team Tuesday off before opening the spring season on Wednesday against Seattle in Peoria. Tim Lincecum, winner of the last two National League Cy Young awards, will start for the Giants.