On Thursday night, Buster Posey was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame. Cooperstown might well be next, even if it takes some time given an 11-season career.
At the same time, the Giants have a youth movement going on, especially at the backstop. The same year Posey opted out during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Giants selected Patrick Bailey with their first overall pick.
Now, Bailey, Joey Bart and Blake Sabol comprise the Giants’ catching depth this season.
Bailey’s hot start and experience coming up through the ranks as a catcher prompted Greg Papa to proclaim that he’s further along defensively than Posey was at the same age.
Posey, of course, won Rookie of the Year as a 23-year-old in 2010. Bailey has played six games.
So, Papa asked Ron Wotus. Is Bailey further along than Posey at the same stage of his career? Wotus tended to agree, largely because Posey wasn’t exclusively a catcher in college:
I think that’s a fair comment, although I have to tell you that Bailey could be further along or is further along than when Buster got here just because [Buster] didn’t call his own game. He played shortstop, Buster did. He played you know, other positions [at Florida State].
I think that’s fair, but I have to say, I rarely noticed Buster in his game calling doing things that we needed to correct. The great players, they don’t need coaching. They just need a little guidance here and there and give them some information and they run with it.
But I think that’s a fair comment. Bailey’s caught his whole life. That’s his strength. He was drafted because of his receiving ability and his calmness back there. He’s very similar to Buster in that way: self-assured, very confident. And the pitchers love throwing to him. And that’s a big plus for a catcher.
Over his first six games, Bailey is batting .235 with a home run, 4 RBI and 4 strikeouts over 19 plate appearances. Posey played seven games in 2009, battling .118 over 17 plate appearances with 4 strikeouts, before getting an extended opportunity in his R.O.Y. campaign in 2010.
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