How Will Buster Posey Start/Finish?

We all saw the collision last season.  Brutal.  Ugly.  Images of Buster Posey writhing around, face down in the dirt, pounding the ground with one hand, clutching his leg with the other, resonated not just with Giants fans, but with baseball aficionados all over that were adamant about changing the rules to protect catchers from such happenings.  The debate was long and arduous and still without resolution.  But while that aspect of the moment can continue to be discussed in forums off the field, the real question now is wondering how the soon-to-be 25 year old Posey will come back.  Will he return to the elite status with which he finished 2010/started 2011 or will there be some lasting negative backlash from the ankle injury that prematurely cut down his sophomore campaign?

As far as the physical recovery goes, Posey seems to not only be progressing well, but he is actually ahead of schedule.  He began catching bullpen sessions in early October, was running sprints almost at full speed by Halloween, and just this past week he had been running corners which is big news.  For weeks he was limited to just straight-line running, so for him to start turning on the ankle is big news.  He is fully expected to be ready to report in February with the pitchers and catchers and, barring any setbacks, should be ready to start behind the plate on Opening Day.

The mental recovery from such a moment isn’t expected to be a difficult one at all.  Posey is a very grounded, level-headed player and despite all the “he said, she said” stuff that went back and forth after the incident, Posey understands that home plate collisions have long been a part of the game and if he expects to continue his role as the Giants’ backstop, then he is to expect more of the same.  There had been talk of moving him to first a little more in 2012 but even Posey himself is not in favor of it.  Mentally, he will be fine.

So that just leaves us fantasy folk wondering what kind of production we can expect in 2012.  After a Rookie of the Year campaign that saw him hit .305 with 18 HR and 67 RBI in just 443 plate appearances, expectations were fairly high walking into last year.  When Posey came out of the gate slow and was hitting just .261 at the end of April, there was no fear of a sophomore slump.  He stumbled out of the gate in his rookie year, so this wasn’t alarming by any means.  When he hit .311 in May and had a tasty .365 BABIP, any remaining skeptics reverted back to the shadows.  His power wasn’t quite where people wanted it, but that was expected to come shortly.  It all looked very similar to his 2010 splits where he did the exact same thing — slow start, killer follow-up.

If all is right with Posey’s recovery from his ankle injury, there is really no reason to expect anything different in 2012.  He’ll likely start off the year slowly and we’ll all hear stories of how the injury has affected him and Scott Cousins is a career-killer, but by the time May rolls around, all will likely be forgotten.  Posey is a fantastic athlete all around and should, once again, reach the elite status of top fantasy catchers by year’s end.  If you’ve got owners in keeper leagues that are skeptical, then buy low as fast as you can.





Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site, RotobuzzGuy.com, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com

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Eminor3rd
10 years ago

Where to draft him in a redraft league? I have a feeling my ‘get Yadier Molina in the 10th round’ strat won’t work anymore after this year, and I may want to draft for value at C.