Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jerry Crasnik Compares Buster Posey to Larry Bird

This is from Jayson Stark's Insider's Only Column...

"In case you hadn't noticed this, Buster Posey is on the road to becoming more than just the greatest Buster in baseball history. He's on the road to becoming Ty Cobb.
In July (so far), this guy isn't merely hitting .300. And he isn't merely hitting .400. He's hitting .500 (22 for 44). That's all. Just .500, with a .977 slugging percentage and a 1.526 OPS.
Nobody has more homers (six) this month. Or more RBIs (16). Or more runs scored (13). And hang on, there's more.

If you missed the fabulous "Elias Says" column last Sunday, you missed this gem: Over his past 10 games, Posey cranked out 19 hits, six homers and 13 RBIs. So how many other rookies in National League history have had a 10-game stretch in which they did all that, according to the Elias Sports Bureau? That would be none. Nada. Zero. Amazing.

Want more evidence this man is a born hit machine? He's only been in the big leagues about a month and a half. But he already has more multi-hit games (15) than Manny Ramirez, Carlos Pena or Jorge Posada. And more three-hit games (5) than Chase Utley, Josh Willingham or Prince Fielder. And more four-hit games (2) than Ichiro, Joey Votto or Vladimir Guerrero.
And remember, all of this has gone on since the Giants exported Bengie Molina to turn their regular catching job into Posey territory. So obviously, the guy is really having a tough time with that kind of pressure. Otherwise, he might be hitting .800.
One scout I talked to compared him to Utley and Votto and said, "Of all the rookies I've seen in the last few years, this kid came up and made an impact faster than any of them. He's a force already."

And another scout dropped two even bigger names on me -- Joe Mauer and (you don't hear this one much in baseball) Larry Bird.
Why Mauer? "I'm not saying his swing is the same as Mauer. But you know how some guys walk to the plate with that quiet confidence? That's what I saw from him, right from the beginning. He knows he can hit. He's not afraid to hit with two strikes. And he never chased. That never happens with young guys. They always chase something. Not him."
OK, and why Bird? "He's Larry Bird-esque, in a baseball way, because he's got a vision. The game seemed to slow down for him, even when he was playing first base. It wasn't easy for him, but he always seemed to know the right thing to do and know the right place to be. He was never overwhelmed by the big leagues."
Well, I don't know how many 3-pointers Buster Posey is going to sink. But I know this: He already leads Larry Bird in most career Sandwich Awards -- 1 to 0."

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