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Entries in buster posey (14)

Sunday
Sep302012

High-Ball Slugging Puts Posey, Molina in MVP Conversation

Buster Posey and Yadier Molina are both having historically awesome seasons, raking at the plate (Posey has a league-best 172 OPS+, Molina checks in at 141) and vaporizing base runners behind it (Molina has thrown out 47% of would-be thieves, and Posey has erased 30%). That blend of offensive and defensive prowess at a premium position has made both serious NL MVP Award contenders, with Molina tied for second in Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement and Posey placing fifth.

Posey or Molina could beat out the likes of Andrew McCutchen, Ryan Braun and David Wright for that hardware thanks in part to the backstops crushing pitches thrown high in the strike zone. Check out Posey and Molina's slugging percentage by pitch location this season:

Posey

 

Molina

 

Posey and Molina rank second and third, respectively, in slugging on pitches thrown high in the zone:

Highest slugging percentage on high pitches among qualified hitters

BatterSlugging Pct.
Carlos Beltran .725
Buster Posey .702
Yadier Molina .694
Ryan Braun .664
Adam LaRoche .643
Mark Teixeira .636
Aaron Hill .610
Paul Goldschmidt .608
Billy Butler .608
Aramis Ramirez .600
MLB Avg. .387

 

Pitchers try not to challenge these two with high stuff, throwing Posey and Molina an elevated pitch about 22% of the time (26% MLB average). That's smart, considering any hurler who misses high over the next few days risks getting a shout-out in a Posey or Molina acceptance speech.

Sunday
Sep162012

Posey Pummeling Fastballs, Sinkers

Buster Posey pushed the Giants a little closer to the NL West title last night, popping a two-run homer off Wade Miley that proved to be the difference in San Francisco's 3-2 win over the Diamondbacks. Posey has shown no ill effects from last year's home plate collision, making a compelling MVP case by ranking near the top in all three triple-crown categories: third in batting (.333) and on-base percentage (.407), and ninth in slugging (.546).

While the result was a game-altering, opposite-field homer, Miley had the right idea by tossing Posey a low-and-away fastball. That's the only portion of the zone where Posey hasn't gone all Ty Cobb on pitchers when they feed him a fastball or a sinker:

Posey's average by pitch location against fastballs and sinkers

Posey's batting .377 overall against fastballs and sinkers, ranking behind only Andrew McCutchen (.388) among qualified hitters. The Giants' backstop makes scads of contact against fastballs/sinkers (13.9% miss rate, 15.9% MLB average) and doesn't chase off the plate, swinging 21.8% of the time he gets an out-of-zone fastball or sinker (25.5% MLB average). That combo of contact and patience is how Posey gets in hitter's counts like the one that produced last night's deciding homer, and that approach has helped him rank 18th in the majors in fastball slugging (.593).

Miley hit his target last night. But the lefty, like many other pitchers this season, learned the hard way that there's no safe spot for a fastball with Posey at the plate.

Friday
Sep142012

Bill Chuck’s Friday Nine to Know

 

  1. From the day of Andy Pettitte’s first start May 13th (a loss) through his last game (a win) on June 27, the Yanks went 27-14 (.659) tied with the Angels for the best record in baseball. Since that date, the Yanks have played .515 (35-33) ball.
  2. The last time the Red Sox did not have a 15-game winner was 2001, the streak will end this season.
  3. The last time the Red Sox did not have a hundred RBI batter was 1997, the streak will end this season.
  4. Mike Leake leads all pitchers this season with two homers, but Yovani Gallardo has one this season, giving him 10 in his career tying him with Livan Hernandez among active pitchers and trailing only Carlos Zambrano who has 24.
  5. While Albert Pujols is ending up with a strong season, he is not stopping an alarming trend: Pujols hit .357 in 2008, .327 in 2009, .312 in 2010, .299 last season, and .286 this season.
  6. Aroldis Chapman leads all full-time relievers with 119 strikeouts in just 67.2 innings. Dick Radatz who had 181 whiffs in 157 relief innings for the Red Sox in 1964 holds the record.
  7. So far Mike TroutAlex RiosB.J. Uptonand Ryan Braun are the only members of the 20 homer/20 steal club this season, the most in any season were the 19 in 1999. There were 12 last season.
  8. Max Scherzer is the first starter (with a least 162 IP) to average over 11 strikeouts per nine innings pitched since Kerry Wood in 2003 when he averaged 11.35. Scherzer is at 11.21.
  9. Dickie Dietz is the only Giants catcher since the team moved to SF to have over 100 RBI (he had 107 in 1970); Buster Posey had 89.