Three-time World Series champion and newly enshrined member of the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame Buster Posey joined the Murph & Mac Show Friday morning.
Naturally, Posey took some time to share his impressions of Patrick Bailey, the rookie catcher who has turned heads with his defensive prowess in his six games with the club.
“Patrick’s doing a great job,” Posey said on the Murph & Mac Show. “The best way I could describe it is just easy, confident control. That’s kind of what it looks like to me. That’s something that’s hard to teach. It’s just kind of a natural gift that he has. It’s one of those things that, as a catcher, I really don’t think you can overstate the importance of how you carry yourself and how it can affect, obviously, your pitching staff, but all of us can even see it on TV or at the ballpark. It’s just a huge asset. He’s going to be fun to watch.”
Posey got to know Bailey during spring training before his last season in 2021, he said. The seven-time All-Star said he’s been texting some of his friends still with the team about the rookie catcher.
In six games, Bailey has hit .235 with a home run. Although his limited sample doesn’t grade favorably on Baseball Savant’s catcher framing leaderboard, his soft hands have won several strikes for Giants pitchers.
In Thursday’s 5-0 win over Milwaukee, Bailey guided six different pitchers for his first career shutout.
“I think offense is a bonus at this point, honestly,” Posey said. “I think if he can game-manage a staff, call a good game, play good defense and carry himself like I just talked about — I think any offensive production is going to be a big bonus. I do think he’s got some thump in his bat and the ability to come up with some big hits that he’s shown already. Hopefully that kind of is the message: Hey man, you’re doing a great job behind the plate, and we want you to be as productive an all-around player as you can be, but you lead the staff first and foremost.”
Bailey played just 14 games at Double-A and then 14 more in Sacramento before earning the promotion to the Giants. His opportunity came when Joey Bart, the former second overall pick, hit the injured list with a groin strain.
Bart ranks second in MLB in strike rate, per Baseball Savant, and has cut down on his strikeout rate at the plate. But that adjustment has come with a reduction in power; Bart has yet to hit a home run this season and is batting .231 in 26 games.
“When Joey gets back and he’s healthy, it’s going to make for some competition, for sure,” Posey said.
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