Sometimes, when I’m feeling saucy, I like to peruse the Giants Inbox. It’s a semi-regular send-in-your-question type column on SFGiants.com that features team beat-writer, Chris Haft. Chris gets to answer all sorts of questions from regular fans like you and me. Questions such as: “Is Melky Cabrera any good?” or “Is Nate Schierholtz’s defense underrated?” or whatever. Generally it’s pretty easy stuff. Reading the Giants Inbox tends to be a frustrating experience for me, but I do it any way.
From today’s newest batch of questions:
With Buster Posey coming off his injuries and the Giants’ brass hinting at playing him only one more year behind the plate, why not move him to a non-catching position now? Buster’s best suited for first base or third and would play an admirable right field. But how about shortstop?
I feel like I’ve seen the Posey-to-shortstop dream scenario since the Giants drafted him in 2008. After all, he played SS in college, and we all know that if you can play a position in college ball, then you can play it in the pros. So much of Posey’s future will be based on how he recovers this offseason and how he healthy he is in 2012. But, for a guy with a traumatic ankle/leg injury, it seems a tad bit presumptuous to place him in a position (shortstop) where he’ll have to constantly be shifting and pivoting off of his legs. There is a reason the most athletic players play this position: they are always moving, running, and then moving around some more.
Does shortstop require more movement than catcher? Maybe. I don’t know. But I would say that it requires a different type of movement. And it’s also clear that Posey, in terms of body-type, isn’t the same guy that he was during his Florida State shortstop days. He’s filled out more and his lower half is bigger.
The good news for the Giants is that if the team wants to move Posey off catcher in the future, the minor league system is currently pretty heavy on catching prospects. The Giants have prospects like Tommy Joseph, Andrew Susac, and Hector Sanchez working their way through the system. Joseph is a top ten prospect right now. Susac probably is, too. Sanchez is around the top ten, depending on how much you value his bat.
In a perfect world, Posey comes back and can catch for a couple of seasons while the Joseph-Susac-Sanchez trio develops in the minors; hopefully, one of the three steps forward as a viable catching option for the team. I don’t think we’ll be seeing Posey at SS, now or ever, but the team seems likely to move him somewhere down the road, the likeliest options probably being third or second, maybe a corner outfield spot. How Posey responds this year will determine that particular timetable.
Every permutation of “best team available” for the Giants involves Posey catching. For a team that missed the playoffs last year, “best team available” is a good start.