Case for Buster Posey:
Posey is one of the most popular players in the game. His attitude, childish smile, and the injury he suffered last season against the Marlins have baseball fans across the world cheering (and voting) for him to start the all-star game.
Posey is the best offensive catcher in National League, if not baseball. In an interview, Johnny Bench thought he was the best hitting catcher in baseball and I think several fans would agree. Even though guys like Carlos Ruiz, Yadier Molina, and A.J. Ellis are having better offensive years statistically, Posey has the best swing and probably the most power out of any of them. What Ruiz, Molina, Ellis are doing this year is something that Posey will do for his entire career, just not one year in particular. The Giants’ catcher has 33 runs batted in which trails just Carlos Ruiz who has 34 for the National League catcher lead.
However, sometimes you just have to think about what Posey means to the Giants’ offense. Without Posey’s bat, the Giants’ offense would take a much bigger hit than the Phillies would without Ruiz or the Cardinals would without Yadier Molina or even the Dodgers would without A.J. Ellis. Yes, both Ruiz, Molina, and Ellis are having career years offensively, but they aren’t the main guys in their respective lineups. Posey is the guy the Giants count on to drive in runs, making him their number one threat.
Case For Yadier Molina:
There’s no questioning that Molina is the best defensive catcher in the National League. He has a 2.3 FLD Rate which leads National League catchers and is third overall in the majors. In fact, the Cardinals locked Molina large part due to solely his gold glove caliber defense, but his offensive production has been a pleasant surprise for Mike Matheny’s club.
Molina’s .324 batting average ranks second in the majors for catchers, trailing Carlos Ruiz’s .361 mark. The Cardinals stud catcher has also driven in 32 runs on right dingers. So he is producing on both sides of the ball, and the end result is a 2.7 WAR (Wins above replacement). That mark ranks third out of all catchers.
Case For Carlos Ruiz:
Statistically, Ruiz has been the best catcher in baseball this season. Unfortunately for the Phillies, Ruiz has been one of the very few players producing for them. He’s batting .361 with eight home runs and 34 batted in. So he is hitting for power and an average which is something you just don’t see from many catchers.
Ruiz has a FLD rate of 2.0 which ranks fourth in all of baseball, and second in the National League. So if you throw speed out the window, Ruiz has practically been a five-tool player in 2012.
To wrap it all for the Phillies’ catcher, he boasts a 3.1 WAR, a numbers that leads the majors. That stat really says what type of year he is having and hopefully the fans and coaches take that into consideration when selecting the team.
The Verdict: Carlos Ruiz should be the N.L starting catcher.