Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Top 50 On Cardboard- #24 Buster Posey

My Top 50 On Cardboard 
Buster Posey

2010 Upper Deck Buster Posey RC 

This is one of the higher young players on my list.  There is one more who is slightly higher, but Posey belongs on this list for two reasons.  First, he's a really good player with a Hall of Fame trajectory to his career and he's only 26 and already won an MVP award, batting crown, and two World Series rings.  Posey has a ton of rookie cards if you are looking to pick one up.  I flipped through my boxes before making this post trying to find one and found literally twenty different cards to choose from for my post.  They range greatly in price, but if you are looking for just a basic Posey rookie card you should have no difficulty pulling that off for anything more than $5.

Hobby Impact-
Posey definitely has a pretty large hobby presence.  His cards are popular and you will definitely pay a pretty price for anything that is low run or autographed, or a combination of the two.  I liken Posey's hobby presence in many ways to Cal Ripken.  He's one of those players who collectors seem to universally enjoy, maybe not in Dodger land, and collectors are happy to land a good Posey card whenever, or however they can get their hands on one.  I do not specifically collect Posey cards, but I have two Posey cards which I thoroughly enjoy owning and would not consider trading or selling unless my socks were knocked off.

I will share, but both cards have already been on my blog in the past.

2008 Donruss Elite Collegiate Patches Buster Posey

I was on the lookout for one of these cards for a few years and finally tracked one down last year.  My first introduction to Buster Posey happened while he was in college playing for Florida State.  Living in the middle of the conference, within an hour of the four North Carolina schools, I heard plenty about the play of Buster Posey a few years back.  I really enjoyed getting the chance to see him a few times over the course of his college career.  These are really great looking cards and a great add for fans of college baseball.  Probably my favorite Posey autograph in my collection.

2013 Topps World Series Champions Buster Posey Patch/Autograph 

My other really cool Posey autograph comes from this year's Topps base set after the Giants won the World Series.  The patch is spectacular, but I am not a fan of the sticker autograph on a high end card.  Either way, both cards are awesome and a little taste of what collectors can find floating around from the Giants All-Star catcher.

The bottom line is that Posey cards are fun to collect and a blast to find.  There are a lot of unique cards out there and they can fit into any budget if you are willing to be patient and look hard.  If you are in the small minority of people who dump your Posey cards when you land something good, you know where to find me.

On The Field-
This one is a little bit harder to do with a young player, but let's try it out.  It would be really easy for me to sit here and point to the fact that Posey has already won two World Series rings during his brief career, but lots of players win rings and they do not necessarily contribute much to the cause.  See Ryan Dempster this year.  Posey has won two rings and had plenty to do with helping the Giants reach the pinnacle of Major League Baseball twice.

This is usually the point in the post when I point out where a player ranks on the JAWS rating system, or who their comparable Hall of Fame caliber players are on Baseball Reference and you are probably thinking I might not do that with a really young player like Posey.  You are wrong, but with young players, they always need time.  Meaning if Posey plays at his current level over an extended period of time I think there is no reason why he will not reach a really good place in his career which will merit Hall of Fame consideration.

Cureently Posey is the 86th best catcher all-time in the history of Major League Baseball.  With a career WAR of 17.5 he just behind Paul LoDuca and Ramon Hernanez.  Sounds pretty missable until you realize that Posey has equaled two guys who have basically played in the Majors for a decade in what amounts to a three year career.  In fact, the average Hall of Fame catcher has a career WAR just above 50, so Posey is already nearing the mid-point for reaching that career total.

If you want to eliminate the longevity factor with Posey, which handicaps him, we can use average OPS+ to compare him to the rest of the catchers in MLB history.  The list of players ahead of Posey on that list is incredibly short: Mike Piazza.  That's it.  He's actually tied with Joe Mauer, but with his move to first base next season, Posey will have no trouble passing him as he enters the prime of his career.  Posey, at this point in his career, ranks about 16 to 17 points ahead of the highest Hall of Fame catchers in terms of OPS+ with the highest two notable being Johnny Bench and Bill Dickey.

As with all players, this all depends on them staying healthy and playing long enough to accumulate some numbers over time.  While Posey has suffered one bad injury, and missed a chunk of the season, I actually view him as a pretty durable player.

Favorite Card-
There are several direction I could here, but I am going to highlight another one of Posey's rookie cards.  Topps put out the National Chicle set for one year, in 2010, and based the set off of the 1935 football card set with the same name.  Posey was included in the set, along with several other significant rookies.  The Posey card looked like this:

2010 Topps National Chicle Buster Posey RC

Definitely a unique card for one of Topps vintage throwback sets.  I think that Turkey Red and Ginter sometimes have similar feels in terms of the pictures and artwork.  National Chicle was just completely different.  I love the painted backgrounds with the different shapes and colors the artists used for the cards.  This Posey card has always been amongst my favorites in the set.  The Madison Bumgarner is awesome.  This is a very affordable rookie of Posey too.  Again, $5 or less will put this card into your collection.

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