It's been mentioned here before, but I'll add to everyone's misery. Buster Posey is not a good catcher. I am in Oahu today and have just witnessed some very, very bad fundamentals. Take my opinion with a grain of salt, but here's what I saw:
- Gerald's blocking skills are nearly non-existent. For an ex-shortstop, Posey has some real limitations with staying in front of balls on the dirt. He has a bad habit of reaching across his body for pitches going to his right. In the eighth inning, he did block two absolutely filthy sliders that bounced six inches in front of home. The first bad slider was textbook. The second one got past him -- going to his left about three feet -- for the game tying run. To make things worse, he didn't pick up the ball to his left and flipped it over the pitcher's head when he recovered. The go-ahead run scored on this error. Basically, his ball blocking skills are not even remotely major league quality. I sat next to another player's dad and he had a ton of complaints about Posey's blocking.
- Posey had only a few opportunities to throw out base runners, but disappointed me on those few plays. (BTW, his pitchers didn't help as they hardly threw over to first.) Posey's footwork on throws to second is pretty pedistrian. Basically, good catchers have a quick rock step to catch, transfer and throw. Posey, on the other hand, caught the ball, backed into a half rock step and threw with only a fraction of his total arm stregth. The throws to second, while not ducks, were definitely not lasers either. As a comparison, Posey's throw to second in between innings were lasers since he had all the time in the world to get his lower half in proper position.
- His game calling seems a bit suspect. Waldis Joaquin was pitching today (The real deal, btw. 90-95 with little effort. Good slider. Average/fringe changeup.) Joaquin got a lot of hitters in 0-2 and 1-2 counts. Posey called high fastballs a few times, but kept setting the target at the bottom of the letters. Usually, the point is to go above the letters. Make the fastball look fat, but put it in a spot that is tough to do something with. Most hitters can kill a fastball at the bottom part of the letters. Luckily Waldis' fastball is good enough where the batter only fouled off the offering. Also, it seemed like Posey hardly called sliders on two strike counts, probably because of the blocking issue.
While I get that it is early and Posey is probably two to three years away from the show, I find it hard to believe that he is this far behind. He needs a ton of instruction on the basics. I honestly think that Posey might be better for a corner infield spot.
I do have some understanding of issue here. I caught for 4 years in high school and still play hardball in a wood bat league. Posey's best skill right now is pure arm strength and framing pitches. Everything else below average. Especially since this kid signed for $6.2M.