Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the 2012 National League MVP from the World Champion San Francisco Giants, Buster Posey!!!
It was a long remarkable journey for Posey coming off a devastating injury in 2011 and his health coming into 2012 was the Giants biggest storyline. It was evident early on Posey was back and better than ever looking to regain his form from 2010. Posey recorded 52 multi-hit games and 12 three-hit games showing everyone his ankle was fully healed. He managed two four-hit games and a 13-game hitting streak from July 27-August 9. Posey was selected by the fans as the starting catcher in the All-Star Game where he went 0-2 drawing a walk and scoring a run.
Posey won and clinched this MVP with his fantastic second half batting .385 smacking 99 hits, 23 doubles, 14 homers, 60 RBI's and 37 walks in 71 games. He produced a .456 on-base percentage and .646 slugging percentage equaling a 1.102 OPS. He was clutch with runners in scoring position batting .340, while producing 18 game-winning RBI's and 31 go-ahead RBI"s.
He finished the season batting a Major League best .336 drilling 178 hits, 39 doubles, one triple, 24 homers, 103 RBI's and 69 walks in 148 games. He showcased a .408 on-base percentage and .549 slugging percentage reaching a .957 OPS. Posey was at his best batting against left-handed pitching leading the majors with a .433 batting average going 71-164 during the season.
Posey became the first catcher since Ernie Lombardi in 1942 (.330) to win the NL batting title and first Giant since Barry Bonds in 2004 (.362). His 103 RBI's were the most by a Giant since Bonds achieved that back in 2004 (101) and former Giant Dick Dietz was the last catcher to reach the 100 RBI mark in 1970 driving in 107. Posey is the first catcher since Mike Piazza in 1997 with the Los Angeles Dodgers to amass a batting average of .330 or more and 100 plus RBI's.
Posey became the third Giant in franchise history to capture the batting title and MVP in the same season joining Willie Mays (1954) and Bonds (2002 & 2004). He also captured the Hank Aaron and Silver Slugger awards becoming the first Giant since Bonds (2004) to win both honors.
Posey joins former catching greats Johnny Bench and Thurman Munson to win Rookie of the Year, MVP and play on a World Series championship team putting himself in some elite company. Bench was the last NL catcher to win the MVP back in 1972 and Posey becomes the sixth Giant to win the award. Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins was the last catcher in 2009 to win MVP honors.
He caught 111 games during the season committing just eight errors and throwing out 38 runners attempting to steal producing a .991 fielding percentage. Posey also started 29 games at first base keeping his bat in the lineup allowing his body to recover from the daily grind of being a catcher.
Posey was effective in the postseason batting .200 connecting with 12 hits, three homers, nine RBI's and eight walks in 16 games. He recorded the first Giants grand slam since 1989 when he demolished a bomb in Game 5 of the Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds in the top of the fifth.
2012 was the year of Posey playing in his first full season capturing so many awards and winning his second championship. When Posey plays over 100 games, all the Giants do is win championships. The 25-year-old has a chance to be one of the greatest catchers of all-time already establishing himself as one of the best players in the game.Tags: Baseball, MLB, San Francisco, San Francisco Giants