Now that SB Nation Bay Area is a little over a month old, I thought it would be interesting to post my pick for Bay Area Athlete of the Month as each month passes. I had thought about posting a poll, and we may actually go with that in the future. However, for this first month, I don't think a poll is necessary.
There is no question, in my mind, that Buster Posey was the best athlete in the Bay Area for the month of July. In July Posey hit .417 with an OBP of .466, and slugged .699. After hitting 1 homer leading up to July, Posey let loose with 7 last month. At this point in the season, Posey could go 0 for his next 33 and still be hitting .300 on the season.
July is a particularly interesting month for Posey because the team removed the training wheels on his catching career by dealing away Bengie Molina at the beginning of the month. The Giants still have Eli Whiteside as a backup, but Posey is the man behind the plate going forward. And he rewarded the Giants confidence by calling an impressive July. I don't have a more specific breakdown, but in July, the Giants pitchers put together a 3.41 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Both numbers are among the best they've had all year (save for a filthy April). All in all, Posey is developing quite nicely for the Giants.
In looking at other athletes to consider, it was a short list of guys that clearly came in second. Madison Bumgarner made his major league debut in June but has really stepped up in July to the win of a 4-2 month with a 2.27 ERA. Aubrey Huff also had a solid month hitting .367 with 8 HRs. It might have been enough if not for Posey.
The one non-baseball athlete I would have included would have been new Warriors guard Jeremy Lin. Lin, a Bay Area native, looked solid enough in the Las Vegas Summer League to score a contract with the Warriors. He's got a lot of work ahead of him, but he's off to the right start.