Position Player: Buster Posey
Although the Giants have had their struggles offensively this season, it does not mean they are without the pieces to hit. Denard Span, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, and when healthy, Hunter Pence.
There is no argument, though, that when fans think of the Giants that their minds are immediately brought to Buster Posey. The 30-year-old has been the best offensive catcher in baseball for the last eight seasons.
Let’s recap his career so far: Four All-Star Appearances, a Rookie of the Year in 2010, an MVP 2012, three Silver Slugger Awards, and three World Series titles.
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He currently leads his Giants in average (.348), on-base percentage (.445), and hits (54) as we head into June. Posey is a career .308/.376/.478 hitter and has shown little sign of slowing down anytime soon.
This season, the superstar is hitting .313 on the road with a .942 OPS and five of his seven homers. He has not had trouble against righties either, slashing a ridiculous .326/.429/.474 in 155 at bats.
In his 32 games against the Phils, Posey has cemented himself as a Philly Killer. He is hitting .398, slugging .531, and getting on base at a .426 clip.
He has hit three homers, but in very un-Posey style, he has struck out 19 times against the Phils in 128 official at-bats.
The Citizen’s Bank Park factor does not make things any better either. He is slashing .365/.405/.581 in South Philly. All three of his career homers against the home team have come in Philadelphia. He has never faced Jerad Eickhoff or Ben Lively, who I assume will start Saturday afternoon. Against Sunday’s starter, Jeremy Hellickson, Posey is 1-9 with a RBI and walk.
While his power has decreased, Posey is still an incredibly dangerous hitter that the Phils will have to treat carefully this weekend. The problem with Posey is that he can hit fastballs both in and outside the zone. Fastballs on the low, inner-half of the plate have given him trouble, as have fastballs up and away inside the zone.
Offspeed and breaking pitches have been a bit tougher for Posey this season. It will benefit the Phils to try and pitch the catcher backward throughout the series in hopes of confusing him.
If the Phillies can take out the lone strength in an overall struggling lineup, they may be able to start June on a strong note.