Results tagged ‘ Buster Posey ’

Buster Posey Ranked 3rd-Most Indispensable Player in MLB by ZiPS

ESPN Insider Dan Szymborski posted an article Sunday morning about the ten most indispensable players in Major League Baseball. He used the projections from the 2014 ZiPS, their playoff odds when the player was odd and whatever back-up that team would likely use in the case the player would be absent due to whatever awful scenario. Giants fans remember life without Buster Posey in 2011 and remember how it went with Eli Whiteside hopping and Chris Stewart first-pumping. Life just wasn’t that great. Szymborski’s list would probably put Posey higher up on the list three years ago since the supporting cast wasn’t as strong, but in 2014, Posey is still pretty high up the list: third. Here’s what the Szymborski noted on Posey:

With a healthy Posey, the Giants won the World Series in 2010 and 2012. With an injured Posey in 2011, they missed the playoffs. While that’s oversimplifying matters, the drop-off from Posey to Hector Sanchez is massive. With the pitching not what it was a few years ago and the Dodgers’ being the favorite, losing Posey drops the Giants clearly below the most likely wild-card candidates (Braves, Pirates, Reds, Diamondbacks).

Not sure Giants fans would disagree with that. Here’s the list, and you can read the full article here if you have insider access:

1. Justin Verlander (chances of making the Postseason down 24.8%)

2. Clayton Kershaw (-21.2%)

3. Buster Posey (-20.6%)

4. Yu Darvish (-19.7%)

5. Miguel Cabrera (-19.6%)

6. Max Scherzer (-19.6%)

7. Joey Votto (-18.9%)

8. Mike Trout (-17.5%)

9. Anibal Sanchez (-17.2%)

10. Yadier Molina (-17.1%)

That’s four Detroit Tigers in the top ten! That can mean a number of things, the ones I’ll choose would be: they have some pretty good players, and ZiPS does not look highly on the back-up options for those guys. I thought Trout would be higher, but he may be that low because the Angels’ postseason odds aren’t that great to begin with. Interesting that half this list are also players that only make their rounds every fifth day.

The Giants and Dodgers play the last game of their series tonight at 5:00 PM PST on ESPN2.

Brandon Belt and Buster Posey Numbers for 2013: Late to the Party

Buster Posey wasn’t 100% for some of the season and Brandon Belt was finally getting settled, even was close to getting a nice, shiny 20-HR season. Still, Belt had a satisfying 2013. Is it what you want out of him every year of his prime? Mmmm…. maybe not just because you expect him to get better. You do want your first baseman to be providing more power than your catcher does, so a player-versus-player post with a 1B and C is probably unfair to Posey, but let’s also keep in mind that Giants fans consider Posey the Golden Boy that can do no wrong. So to have Brandon Belt do anything better than Buster Posey is both great and maybe a preview for later years that suggest perhaps if Posey can have a great year, Belt gets better, the bottom three pictured below are going to be pretty dangerous, no matter whom they face:

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BWARP is Baseball Prospectus‘ version of WAR, so if you had questions on that, there you go. There were probably a bunch of bloggers that wrote about Brandon Belt’s quantifiable betterness, so this blog may be a little bit of review for you as we go through January. First, the numbers Buster Posey bested Belt in:

  • Plate Appearances, 595-571 (lineup order a big part of that)
  • RBI, 72-67 (lineup order a big part of that)
  • BB%, 10.1%-9.1%
  • K% 11.8%-21.9%
  • AVG .298-.289
  • OBP .371-.360
  • fWAR 4.8-4.0
  • rWAR, 5.2-4.4

A lot of pretty important categories, including those WAR and OBP ones people always talk about.

Now, the ones Belt was better than Posey:

  • Games Played, 150-148
  • HR, 17-15
  • SB, 5-2 (vroom vroom!)
  • Isolated Power, .193-.156
  • SLG, .481
  • OPS+, 142-138
  • wOBA, .365-.357
  • wRC+, 139-133

So, the advanced metrics may have said Posey > Belt overall in 2013, which is cool because Buster Posey is awesome. Brandon Belt isn’t too far away from being on his level to the decimal point, and if you’re one of those people that want to talk about how difficult it is to measure catcher defense and how that gets calculated into WAR, you might suggest Belt is already at Posey’s level.  2014 should be fun if Belt gets better, even if he isn’t Paul Goldschmidt, Buster Posey is healthy, and everybody else is skinny and healthy, as well.

Heyman: #SFGiants Looking at CF Options to Shift Pagan to LF

CBS Sports writer Jon Heyman is churning out articles this morning, looking to leave no team behind as these GM and owner meetings get started.

The article specifically names Jacoby Ellsbury and Denard Span as possibilities, the first being a qualifying offer free agent, and the latter being a trade candidate from the Nationals. There are more than a few people that played center field in 2013 that would be a better option than Angel Pagan, and both Ellsbury and Span would fit the bill. A trade for Span would be much less shocking than the Giants ponying up the money for Ellsbury, in my opinion, since they’re not too far away from meeting their self-induced cap. Jon does say that a move of Pagan to a corner spot (left field) would be more likely than a Buster Posey move to 1B, which will sadden all Brandon Belt haters that are still out there.

Heyman also talks about the Giants need for starting pitching, which was evident since about June of this past season. Besides Rotoworld spitting out rumors that the Giants and Bronson Arroyo weren’t too far away, there are no new updates on that front.

NL All Star Game Vote Counts Released — Posey and Panda lead the way for SF

Yesterday the counts for the American League were released, and so today the home National League’s vote count is out to the people where you can view here. Some facts and reactions:

Surprises for me are Pablo Sandoval at third, Bryce Harper gets the celebrity vote, as you could argue Carlos Gomez, Carlos Gonzalez, and Shin-Soo Choo are among those more deserving with the stats, but I’ll let that slide.

Buster Posey is the story of the day with the amount of votes he’s getting, but he’s not blowing away the competition.

It’s true, when Angel Pagan is 8th and Gregor Blanco is 11th, and neither is having an All Star caliber season, that is a fair statement. Giants fans are at it again.

Brandon Crawford is about 350,000 votes behind Troy Tulowitzki, Brandon Belt is about 500,000 behind Joey Votto, and Marco Scutaro is 200,000 behind Brandon Phillips. I really feel like Matt Carpenter needs to be getting more of a look, as he’s quietly put up a pretty valuable year.

The challenge for other clubs is can they get their fanbase to vote their one guy (for the Brewers two guys) in to out do what the Giants fans are doing for all their outfielders.

Right now, I’d say Posey is the only ASG starter I could argue that the Giants have. Yadier Molina winning that over Buster would not be a problem by me, he’s really good as well. We saw what Giants fans did last year, voting in Melky Cabrera in addition to Panda and Posey, and Matt Cain took the bump for the NL. There were many unhappy within the NL, although the NL would end up winning, with the Giants players providing plenty of production, in a shutout victory over the American League, giving the Giants of all teams home field advantage in the 2012 World Series.

The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, on Tuesday, July 16.

Water Cooler Day Off Talk: My May 23rd All Star Ballot

Earlier I wrote about how you could validate voting for each Giant on the MLB All Star Ballot, now it’s probably an appropriate time to list my actual All Stars. Since voting doesn’t close until the 4th of July, there’s going to be plenty of room for hot streaks, and hot piles of slumps. As with the online ballot itself, I’ll give you my players for each position, and we’ll leave it at that for now.

American League

C – Carlos Santana (8 HR, .405 OBP, .410 wOBA, 163 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR) over Joe Mauer (2 HR, .416 OBP, .386 wOBA, 144 wRC+, 1.9 fWAR)

1B – Chris Davis (14 HR, .420 OBP, .458 wOBA, 190 wRC+, 2.3 fWAR)

2B – Dustin Pedroia (8 SB, .420 OBP, .375 wOBA, 132 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR) just over Robinson Cano (13 HR, .335 OBP, .375 wOBA, 134 wRC+, 1.6 fWAR)

SS – Jhonny Peralta (4 HR, .379 OBP, .364 wOBA, 127 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR)

3B – Miguel Cabrera (13 HR, .459 OBP, .480 wOBA, 206 wRC+, 3.0 fWAR) over Evan Longoria (9 HR, .399 OBP, .420 wOBA, 171 wRC+, 2.9 fWAR)

OF – Mike Trout (9 HR, 9 SB, .400 wOBA, 157 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR)

OF – Jose Bautista (11 HR, .408 wOBA, 158 wRC+, 1.9 fWAR)

OF – Alex Rios (10 HR, 8 SB, .372 OBP, .397 wOBA, 146 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR) just over Alex Gordon (6 HR, .387 OBP, .396 wOBA, 150 wRC+, 1.9 fWAR)

DH – David Ortiz (7 HR, .397 OBP, .429 wOBA, 168 wRC+, 1.1 fWAR)

National League

C – Buster Posey (6 HR, .395 OBP, .385 wOBA, 152 wRC+, 1.8 fWAR)

1B – Joey Votto (7 HR, .484 OBP, .438 wOBA, 182 wRC+, 2.7 fWAR) over Paul Goldschmidt (12 HR, .400 OBP, .420 wOBA, .166 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR)

2B – Matt Carpenter (3 HR, .387 OBP, .365 wOBA, 137 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR) over Marco Scutaro (1 HR, .382 OBP, .358 wOBA, 133 wRC+, 1.6 fWAR)

SS – Jean Segura (7 HR, 14 SB, .390 OBP, .407 wOBA, 2.4 fWAR) just over former Long Beach State Dirtbag Troy Tulowitzki (9 HR, .409 OBP, .427 wOBA, 163 wRC+, 2.3 fWAR). You could go either way here.

3B – David Wright (6 HR, 10 SB, .395 OBP, .385 wOBA, 151 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR) over Chase Headley (does not play on the Mets)

OF – Carlos Gonzalez (11 HR, 8 SB, .390 OBP, .413 wOBA, 154 wRC+, 2.1 fWAR)

OF – Justin Upton (14 HR, .387 OBP, .410 wOBA, 165 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR)

OF – Shin-Soo Choo (9 HR, .449 OBP, .426 wOBA, 174 wRC+, 2.0 fWAR) over Carlos Gomez (152 wRC+, 2.6 fWAR) and Ryan Braun (9 HR, .412 wOBA). Just don’t put Choo in CF.

Feel free to put your ballot or changes in the comments because I can see how you might like player B over player A. Short season so far, lots of time left before I have to decide who I’m voting in 35 times.

Validating your vote for every #SFGiants player with numbers

Every fan has their own strategy for voting for choosing whom they would like to don the All Star patches in New York in July. The strategies I know of are:

  • Voting for the statistically best on both leagues (usually that’s pretty subjective though)
  • Voting for the best in the league of the team you support, voting for the worst on the other league
  • Voting for the players you want to see play
  • Voting for only your team in one league, and then a variety of choices for the other league (e.g., just the Astros, nobody, etc.)

Of course, every team wants you to vote for their players, so now for Giants fans that want to justify their all-Giants ballot, how will you do that from a statistical point of view? All stats are within the context of their position within the National League:

  • Buster Posey: tied for the NL lead in fWAR (1.8), leads in OBP, wOBA, wRC+. Possibly the easiest vote for the ballot within the Champs’ roster.
  • Brandon Belt: According to Fangraphs fielding value, is the very best. Also, number of baby giraffe hats to other headgear of NL 1B very much in favor of Belt.
  • Marco Scutaro: Leads in highest BABIP, lowest K%, AVG, Contact% (making contact with the pitch — 95.3), lowest rate of swinging strikes (1.4%)
  • Brandon Crawford: Tied for having the highest positional value on Fangraphs. Most handsome.
  • Pablo Sandoval: T-most HR (8), leads in RBI (see if you can sneak this one past somebody), AVG, WPA all despite seeing the lowest ratio of pitches in the strike zone.
  • Gregor Blanco: Because he makes great catches in the outfield to save the game, that’s why you vote him in. You may also use the fact that he’s been much better than replacement level overall this year
  • Angel Pagan: Makes the highest rate of contact on balls outside of the strike zone. Also could have the best hair of all NL center fielders.
  • Hunter Pence: T-most SB (8), has seven dingers, and his defense hasn’t been all that bad.

I’m just glad I did this with the Giants and not some really awful team. Pitchers get selected by people that wear the uniform, except for that Final Vote stage. Even if you’re not voting for the Giants, and voting for the best in the NL, they still have some pretty good options to choose from. Maybe I’ll do a blog post on that someday.

GIFCap: They only come in wins, baby

I’m not doing these things in a loss unless the Giants get extremely unlucky and there’s stuff to calm myself down over. This was not one of those nights. The Giants did not lead until the game was over, and despite a pretty wide strike zone, they managed to be down by two or tied the whole way. Ryan Vogelsong was good enough to get through seven innings tonight, and Wade Miley nearly matched him in innings pitched. Here are some of Vogelsong’s strikeouts against Didi Gregorious, Cliff Pennington, and Miguel Montero.

Cody Ross made his return to AT&T Park, and there were reports that he was being booed? For shame, Giants fans. For shame. How have you forgotten the title he hath broughteth in 2010?


Vogelsong also played the part of a kick-save goalie tonight, proving baseball players can play any sport.

After pitcher Wade Miley and old man Eric Chavez homered (I know), it was time for the 2012 MVP to get to work.

A 2-R HR to straightaway CF to tie the game. Your thoughts, Buster Posey?


Then, in the bottom of the ninth, Andres Torres singled, Brandon Crawford bunted him over, and then Brandon Belt saw three straight sliders and on the third one, he made Tony Sipp pay.

That hit went softly into LCF and Gerardo Parra knew he had no shot to get Andres Torres and there was much celebration.

Just the way we like it.

GQ Photos: Not sure what Buster Posey’s wearing and what Barry Zito’s doing

Buster Posey shot a photo for GQ magazine that you can see here

Screen shot 2013-04-22 at 10.28.31 AM

As much as I love BP, I’m not sure I love the $325 capri sweatpants.

then there’s Barry Zito

Screen shot 2013-04-22 at 10.28.45 AM

I’m just not sure what’s going on in this picture. You can see the other athletes in the slideshow on GQ here.

GIFCap: #SFGiants dance and blast their way to a sweep of the Padres

Barry Zito delivered seven shutout innings to bring his home shutout streak to twenty-one consecutive innings to begin the regular season. The game began with a couple disputable plays thanks to instant replay, and these calls would go against the Giants. First, Marco Scutaro‘s tag on Chase Headley that was not ruled correctly, though a very difficult call.

And Angel Pagan‘s hit by a pitch on his toe that Bob Davidson ruled was just a ball.

Lucky for the Giants, the bottom of the order began to rally, with Andres Torres and Brandon Crawford getting on base, and then Angel Pagan delivered a double to RCF on a 3-0 pitch. The broadcast pointed out that he cheked the dugout after the 2-0 pitch to maybe see if he had the green light. If so, maybe Angel Pagan was acknowledging that trust.

Pablo Sandoval capped the three-run rally with a bad ball seeing-eye single up the middle on a pitch a little less than a foot off the ground.

Buster Posey would get his first homer of the season, a two-run shot that put the Giants up 5-0.

If you’re wondering how pitchers can keep their ERA down, a good defense behind you can really do the trick.

Joaquin Arias got pretty good contact on a ball later in the game, and Kyle Blanks made a great catch but crashed into the wall and this would ultimately take him out of the game.

We just hope he’s OK.

We also hope that there will be more dance lessons outside, because why not.

Today’s jump wasn’t all that awe-inspiring, but we’ll take the sweep.

Arizona comes in to begin a three-game series with the Giants tomorrow night.

Pulse Check: Sixteen games in for the #SFGiants

There being 162 games in the season, 16 games in seems like a fine place to check in with 10% of the regular season finding its box checked by the Giants. The Giants are 9-7 after getting swept by Milwaukee, but I can’t say that these last three games speak to what we’ve seen out of this team so far. They’ll be in second or third in the NL West depending on how Arizona does tonight against the Yankees tonight, and I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t concerned if they had the record of the Marlins (3-12), but the record you have today shouldn’t be a predictor of where you finish.

Baseball Reference won’t have all sixteen games until tomorrow, but this is what the Giants season has looked like so far:

More of the “W” than the “L,” and have swept the division leading Colorado Rockies (what year is this?). Sure, the Giants are suffering their longest losing streak since the end of July last year, but I think they just needed to get out of Miller Park. There may be some obvious stars and goats from this first ten percent of the season, but there are also some legitimate questions for each player we look forward to see being played out.

Some of the Heroes

Brandon Crawford is always known for his defense, but have you noticed his productive start at the dish? How about a very handsome .352/.435/.593 line, tied for first in fWAR with Justin Upton at 1.3, so his value isn’t only coming with the glove. Crawford’s fWAR last season? 1.7.

Barry Zito didn’t have a very productive third start in Milwaukee, but then again, anyone who pitched there wished their day went a little bit better. Being a contributor with his pitch hand and his bat, Zito was a welcome surprise, continuing his postseason success with two straight starts with his defense helping him to two victories.

Sergio Romo had been called on to work in a eight of twelve game stretch, which is plenty of games for any reliever and wouldn’t bode well if that’s the rate at which he was being used when worrying bout fatigue. A 41.4% strikeout rate with no walks is pretty incredible work so far, and to have the guy that comes into the 9th inning not walk anybody saves all of us a few years of our lives.

Some of the Goats

Brandon Belt is the obvious choice for the guy that’s having the slowest start. His .214 BABIP has kept his hit count low, despite the line drives we’ve seen him hit. His nine hits in fifty-nine plate appearances don’t look stomach pleasing, and Nick Noonan is actually catching up to him in hits since the rookie already has seven himself. The ropes Belt’s hitting right now aren’t finding the ground, maybe it’s me being an apologist for him, but I gotta believe he’s close.

Tim Lincecum‘s struggles continue, and while Hector Sanchez did cost Lincecum strikes in his first start with his framing abilities, Timmy has not been helping his batterymate out with his lack of control. It’s amazing that a) he has gone at least five innings in each start, and b) the team has won each of the three games he’s started. His walk count in his three starts have gone from 7 to 4 to 1, so that is encouraging.

George Kontos is my choice from the reliever corps, though it’s not like it’s a runaway. His 15.2% left on base rate is pre-tttty low, and that will go up as the season goes, and his Opening Day homer to Clayton Kershaw still burns in my brain. He is not a question mark for me, just not a hot start.

Some of the Questions

How real is this personal catcher situation? Last year, we experienced the Hector Sanchez-Tim Lincecum experiment with Buster Posey at 1B. With Guillermo Quiroz getting a hit today, now the question is if he is being auditioned to take Sanchez’s spot. Also of note, since Posey got a day off today in a day game after a night game, might that set him up for catching #55 on Saturday? While Hector has given the team a better walk rate recently, his bat is not the answer.

Speaking of Posey, what the heck’s going on with the 2012 MVP? One more hit than Belt, and a slash line that you’d expect more out of 2011 Brandon Crawford than 2013 Posey. Articles on him suggest it’s just a slow start, that he’s feeling fine. If he’s feeling fine, I’m not worried about him catching back on. Same goes for Matt Cain.

When does Heath Hembree get the call-up? I believe it was Pavs that said when the Giants call him up, the Giants want it to be for good. When it comes to that, you’ll see MLB teams calling their prospects up in June so that they may hold on to their players for an extra year.

What the Chad Gaudin? I know, right? He’s been surprisingly better than decent, but has been used in more low leverage situations than in a situation you might see Santiago Casilla or Kontos showing up in. It will be interesting to see how aggressive the Giants are with Gaudin as the year goes on, especially when Gaudin regresses.

What to look forward to

How about five straight series with NL West opponents? Padres, D-Backs, @ Padres, @ D-Backs, Dodgers that will carry us into May, all of these sets lasting three games a piece. Arizona gets to have six straight series with NL West opponents, so that should be fun for them.

The Giants, students of the comeback for some of their victories, are indeed lucky to be where they are, but the record is probably around what you might have expected out of them. You cannot win the division in April, but so far, they are not losing it.


Looking forward to more of those.


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