The San Francisco Giants' 2011 season all-but-ended last May when Buster Posey was run over at home plate by Scott Cousins of the Marlins, a scene that will never be forgotten at AT&T Park. Posey, who was a key member of their 2010 championship team, could have had his career ended with the damage he sustained to his ankle and knee.
Fortunately for Buster, the Giants and their fans, he is back in the lineup on a nightly basis now and is thriving on a team very capable of winning a weak National League West division.
We'll take a deeper look at Posey and his impact on the team after the jump.
Christina Kahrl of ESPN had this fine piece on Posey, the one-year anniversary of his injury at the plate. Here are a few snippets from the article.
Now, one year later, we can say that interruption, however avoidable, however unfortunate, has cost Posey little in terms of what he's able to do. One year later, and he's hitting like the same kid catcher who provided so much joy in 2010: .297/.364/.473, not very different from the .297/.366/.479 line that ESPN Insider's Dan Szymborski projected for him via ZiPS before the season. Posey is fourth in OPS+ and OBP among regular receivers, sixth in slugging, seventh in homers. Quibblers might note that Posey is throwing out just 22 percent of stolen-base attempts, but when people are testing you scarcely more often (0.77 attempts per nine innings) than they do Yadier Molina (0.69), that's a sign of respect of what Posey is to this day: A big-league catcher.
But in the big picture, Posey is just the leading example of how much is going right for the Giants already. He joins Melky Cabrera's crazy-good start, and Posey's handling a pitching staff that, outside of Lincecum's woes, may very well be the league's best. In the two wild-card-team era, that's something any skipper could work and win with.
There is very little doubt that Posey is a fine hitter when healthy, and he certainly appears to be after months of rehab and time in the gym during the offseason. He will need to continue strengthening his surgically repaired ankle throughout the next few years, but assuming he can stay away from another injury the sky is the limit for Posey and the Giants.
For more on Buster and San Francisco Giants baseball, be sure to check out McCovey Chronicles.