Buster Posey
Buster Posey
33-Year-Old CatcherC
San Francisco Giants
Out
Injury Opt Out
Est. Return 2/1/2021
2020 Fantasy Outlook
A decade is a long time for a catcher to be elite. It seems that run is over for Posey, who was below league average by wRC+ (85) for the first time in a full season. His K% and BB% both went in the wrong direction, and it was not just marginal movement; his K% jumped from 11.8% all the way to 16% while his BB% fell from 10% to 7.6%. His SLG dipped and Posey totaled a mere seven homers in a record-setting HR season for Major League Baseball. His home park -- formerly AT&T Park, now Oracle Park -- has killed what little power Posey does have at this stage of his career. Posey had just one homer at home last season and has totaled 15 at home over the past four years. He finished 25th among catchers in earned fantasy value, behind the likes of Pedro Severino and even (then) teammate Stephen Vogt. There is still a decent BA floor here, but that floor is lowering as Posey enters his age-33 season. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#375
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$Signed a one-year, $615,000 contract with the Giants in March of 2012.
Moved to restricted list
CSan Francisco Giants
Opt Out
July 23, 2020
The Giants placed Posey on the restricted list July 10.
ANALYSIS
The transaction is just a procedural one after Posey announced that same day that he would sit out the 2020 season, citing concerns about how playing amid a pandemic could jeopardize the health of his newborn twins. The Giants are carrying two catchers (Tyler Heineman and Rob Brantly) on the Opening Day roster, but it's unclear if either of the two will act as the clear-cut No. 1 option behind the plate.
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+1%
OPS vs RHP
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
+28%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+19%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .708 283 31 3 20 2 .266 .329 .379
Since 2018vs Right .718 610 59 9 59 1 .272 .345 .373
2020vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Left .575 132 12 0 9 0 .230 .258 .317
2019vs Right .737 313 31 7 29 0 .269 .346 .391
2018vs Left .829 151 19 3 11 2 .300 .391 .438
2018vs Right .698 297 28 2 30 1 .276 .343 .354
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+15%
OPS at Home
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
+13%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+47%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .766 426 43 5 42 1 .297 .365 .402
Since 2018Away .668 467 47 7 37 2 .246 .317 .351
2020Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Home .645 214 14 1 13 0 .259 .310 .335
2019Away .728 231 29 6 25 0 .255 .329 .399
2018Home .893 212 29 4 29 1 .337 .420 .473
2018Away .609 236 18 1 12 2 .238 .305 .304
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
Posey was again one of the sport’s most disciplined hitters in 2018 and trailed only Wilson Ramos in batting average among all catchers with at least 400 plate appearances, but the 31-year-old was a huge disappointment for those that paid top dollar for him. The reasons behind Posey’s downfall weren’t too surprising. He played only 105 games before getting shut down for good after late-August hip surgery and saw his power tail off when he was healthy, continuing a trend that’s persisted since 2015. More troubling was the fact that the power loss was even more acute than usual, as his ISO plummeted from .142 in 2017 all the way to .098, limiting him to just five homers. With Posey's status for Opening Day in peril and his home-run output unlikely to dramatically recover, he's not a comfortable top-five draft pick among fantasy catchers, even though his name brand will probably keep him in that range in more casual leagues.
Posey remains the best pure-hitting catcher in the major leagues, but his fantasy appeal has been dinged in recent seasons by steadily declining power and a depletion of talent around him in San Francisco. In a season that saw record home-run totals, Posey managed 12 long balls 568 plate appearances, marking his third consecutive season of decline in that department. He hit just three homers at home and now has a total of 16 homers at AT&T Park over the past three seasons. His strikeout and walk rates were nearly identical from 2016, with Posey posting stellar marks of 11.6 percent and 10.7 percent, respectively, but the counting totals suffered as the Giants posted the second-lowest run total in the National League. He's still worthy of a lofty investment, but Posey is now clearly behind Gary Sanchez at the catcher position, and the likes of Willson Contreras and J.T. Realmuto are closing the gap behind Posey.
Posey had an underwhelming season -- by his standards -- in 2016. While his production was still good enough to rank in the top five among all catchers, he produced below the standard he set from 2012 to 2015. His home runs, RBI and OPS all decreased from 2015, but he did hit more doubles (33) and stole a career-high six bases. The lack of RBI can be attributed to the Giants' struggles at the top of the order in the first half of the season. Missing Hunter Pence to injury for the majority of the season also removed the All-Star catcher's protection in the lineup. Posey's swing and contact rates were right in line with his career percentages, so there is no sign of a significant decline in his approach at the plate. His numbers only seem disappointing when considering his draft day price. On the bright side, his down year may result in a reduced cost heading into next year's drafts. Posey will likely see his numbers bounce this season to his previous elite levels.
Another year, another All-Star performance from Posey. He ranked first among all catchers in batting average (.318), RBI (95), OBP (.379), SLG (.470), OPS (.849) and WAR (6.1). Those who paid the steep price for him on draft day were rewarded with the best fantasy catcher in the game, especially in leagues that factor in OBP and SLG. He is able to sustain his elite performance with a less-than-intimidating supporting cast due to his patience at the plate (47.9 swing%) and high contact rate (88.0 contact%) when he does decide to swing. The knock on drafting top-tier catchers is the fact that they need a certain number of off days for rest. That isn't necessarily the case for Posey, who receives his "off days" playing first base, allowing manager Bruce Bochy to keep his legs fresh and his bat in the lineup. At age 28, there are no signs of him slowing down, and Posey should be treated as the top catcher in fantasy yet again.
While Posey did not quite rebound to an MVP level in 2014, he returned more rotisserie value than any catcher and finished sixth in the NL MVP voting. Posey has displayed remarkable durability since his freak injury in 2011, appearing in at least 147 games each of the last three seasons, and he didn't hit below .250 in any month of the 2014 campaign. He struggled in the postseason (.558 OPS) and especially in the World Series (4-for-26), but Posey was one of the main reasons why the Giants earned a wild card birth in the first place, and of course San Francisco won it all regardless. Against right-handers, Posey hit .314/.366/.478, up from .283/.362/.431 a year before, and he was red-hot down the stretch in the regular season, finishing with a .978 OPS in the second half. Sure, his walk rate was down more than two percent (from 10.1% to 7.8%), but Posey again improved his strikeout rate (to 11.4%) and has proven to be an extremely consistent offensive contributor. He'll be just 28 at the start of the 2015 campaign and is still the clear choice for first catcher off the board.
Posey didn't put up numbers close to his MVP season in 2012, but he still produced at an elite level for catchers in 2013. After posting a .325 average coupled with 13 homers and 56 RBI in the first half, many thought he could repeat his numbers from 2012. But that wasn't the case as Posey completely disappeared in the second half, hitting just .244 with just two home runs and 16 RBI after the All-Star break. There was no apparent injury to report with Posey, and he actually improved his BB/K (0.96) in the second half, so it is tough to pinpoint what exactly went wrong with the All-Star catcher. Despite his second-half struggles, Posey will remain one of the most consistent options at catcher in 2014.
The 25-year-old catcher won the NL MVP award after missing most of 2011 with a leg injury, and vastly improved his overall offensive production. His 162 wRC+ was tied for second best in baseball, and there is no significant flaw in his offensive game despite lacking speed. Posey made more contact (6.0 percent swinging-strike rate), improved his plate discipline (career best 11.3 percent walk rate) and posted a career-best .213 ISO and 18.8 percent HR/FB rate at a premium position. Behind the plate, Posey is still considered above average with a good arm, and looks as if he has slightly improved at first base.
Posey suffered a season-ending leg injury in May thanks to a brutal collision at the plate, so his follow up to his Rookie of the Year campaign came to a premature end. He wasn't playing as well as he did in 2010 before going down, and while the big drop came in slugging percentage (.505 compared to .389), his OBP was actually up (.357 to .368). The injury was gruesome (broken fibula and severely strained ligaments), and there's concern about his long-term ability to catch, but he suffered it early enough in the season for him to be expected to be fully ready for 2012. Posey has terrific work ethic, and his bat is for real, so he should be one of the first five catchers off the board during fantasy drafts.
After Posey showed he had nothing left to prove in the minors by hitting .349/.442/.552 over 172 at-bats in Triple-A last season, the Giants finally promoted him in late May, and he stayed with the big club for good. He posted an .862 OPS with strong plate discipline, winning National League Rookie of the Year honors in the process. Posey's 18 homers were the second most by a catcher in the NL, and he did it in just 406 at-bats. He also got rave reviews for his work behind the plate, and don't forget he's still just 24. Posey doesn't have the benefit of the DH during his off days catching, and his home park typically suppresses homers, but he's one of the best young hitters in the game and is locked in the middle of San Francisco's lineup. With his natural ability to hit for average combined with his developing power, there's an argument Posey should be the first catcher off the board in fantasy leagues.
Posey hit .325 with 18 homers, 84 runs scored and 80 RBI over 422 at-bats during his first real stint in the minors last year. He also showed good plate discipline (68:62 K:BB ratio) and more than held his own as a 22-year-old in Triple-A (.902 OPS), as he’s been put on the fast track. Since he was given just 17 at-bats with the Giants, it’s unclear why the team called him up at all, other than to prematurely start his arbitration clock. Posey is clearly one of the best prospects in all of baseball, but he’s not ready for a full-time gig behind the plate in the majors. He could enter 2010 with the Giants with a big spring training, but Posey will likely share catching duties with a veteran in San Francisco if he’s not getting more seasoning in the minors.
Posey was awarded the Golden Spikes Award as the top amateur player in 2008. He led the nation in batting average (.472), on-base percentage (.572) and slugging percentage (.908) in his junior season at Florida State. The fifth overall pick in last year’s draft, Posey immediately became one of baseball’s best prospects. The former shortstop should be able to handle catching duties, and his bat is for real. Posey is worthy of a high pick in keeper leagues and should be starting in San Francisco by 2010.
More Fantasy News
Announces decision to opt out
CSan Francisco Giants
Opt Out
July 10, 2020
Posey announced his decision to opt out of the upcoming season Friday, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic reports.
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Remains absent from camp
CSan Francisco Giants
Personal
July 9, 2020
Posey missed his third workout in a row Thursday, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Areareports.
ANALYSIS
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Absent for personal issue
CSan Francisco Giants
Personal
July 8, 2020
Posey wasn't present at the Giants' facility Wednesday to attend to a personal issue, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Not sold on playing
CSan Francisco Giants
July 4, 2020
Posey is considering opting out of playing this season, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic reports.
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Arrives in camp
CSan Francisco Giants
July 4, 2020
Posey (personal) reported to camp Saturday, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
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