By the time he retires, Buster Posey is going to need a 5,000-square-foot trophy room at the rate he is going. Add the National League Most Valuable Player award to his growing collection. And growing by the season it is. In 2010, Posey won the NL rookie of the year award and his first World Series ring emblematic of the San Francisco Giants’ championship.
In 2012, Posey was named the NL comeback player of the year because he missed most of 2011 with a bad leg injury (maybe he also saved the crutches for posterity). He also collected a second World Series ring in October, and now this. If the guy keeps this up he will out-do Michael Phelps in gathering coveted souvenirs of their sport. Oh yeah, he now has a batting championship on his resume, as well.
Unlike the American League where some observers felt the MVP race between the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera and the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout would be close (it wasn’t very), no one was considered to be much of a challenge for Posey. In mid-summer the Cincinnati Reds’ Joey Votto, the 2010 winner, was thought to be a front-runner, but then he hurt his knee and missed a mess o’ games. Then the Pittsburgh Pirates made a run for playoff contention with outfielder Andrew McCutchen en fiego. For a time, McCutchen couldn’t be talked into making an out. Then he cooled off a little bit and the Pirates collapsed completely. End of that.
Interestingly, the runner-up in the National League was Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun. Braun won the 2011 MVP award when he helped carry the Brewers into the playoffs, but then it was announced he flunked a test for performance-enhancing drugs. However, he appealed and in a first-of-its kind overturning, he won his case. Although there was still a lot of murkiness surrounding Braun’s situation he was cleared to play. The Brewers did not make the playoffs this season. Braun’s consideration was probably based more on his super statistics (41 homers, 112 RBIs, 108 runs, .319)and were better suited for a most outstanding player award than an MVP award.
Posey, 25, represented the heart of the Giants, a field leader from his catcher’s spot. He also hit 24 homers and drove in 103 runs, and speaking of collecting awards, he won the National League batting championship with a .336 average. Posey’s on-base percentage was .408, even more remarkable given that he is a catcher.
A year ago Posey couldn’t even walk. He was sidelined with a broken leg and torn ligaments in his ankle because of a collision at home plate. Now he is running away with everything.