Buster Posey honored with NL MVP Award

Buster Posey honored with NL MVP Award
November 15, 2012, 11:19 pm
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SAN FRANCISCO Buster Poseys trophy case already included a Silver Slugger, a Comeback Player of the Year honor, the prestigious Hank Aaron Award for offensive excellence and a claim check to collect his second World Series ring.To nobodys surprise, he added a centerpiece trophy on Thursday. Posey was named the National Leagues Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers Association of America, whose voters made him the clear and overwhelming selection.Posey received 27 of a possible 32 first-place votes for a landslide victory with 422 points. Ryan Braun finished in second place with 285 points and three first-place votes. Ryan Braun finished third with 245 points but did not receive any first-place votes. Yadier Molina received the final two first-place votes and finished in fourth place with 241 points.Posey became the first catcher to win the NL award since Johnny Bench in 1972, and just the second NL backstop since Roy Campanella took the award in 1951, 53 in 1955. Its elite company for Posey, who already made history during the regular season when he hit .336 to lead the majors becoming the first NL catcher to win a batting crown since Ernie Lombardi in 1942.Posey also led the NL with a .408 on-base percentage, hit 24 home runs and finished with 104 RBIs the first Giant to drive in 100 runs since Barry Bonds in 2004. Not coincidentally, Bonds won the last of his seven MVP awards that season the last Giant to do so before Posey.Posey joins Bonds, Jeff Kent, Kevin Mitchell, Willie McCovey, Willie Mays, Carl Hubbell and Larry Doyle as the only players to win a league MVP award in a Giants uniform. Posey is the first MVP to be drafted and developed by the organization since McCovey in 1959.Ballots were due before the playoffs, but voters recognized what Posey meant to the Giants as they persevered through the loss of closer Brian Wilson to elbow surgery and the Aug. 15 suspension of Melky Cabrera, who was leading the majors in hits and runs when his positive test for exogenous testosterone was made public.Posey only cranked up his production in the second half. He hit .385 with a .456 on-base percentage and .646 slugging percentage in 71 games after the All-Star break; he had 23 doubles, 14 homers and 60 RBIs after the break as well.This guy is an incredible talent, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said in the moments after his team won the World Series in Detroit. His makeup is off the chart.He's, to me, the MVP, no question. We know how he carried us all year with the bat. But I think as important as atbat is what he did behind the plate in postseason and helped getting this pitching on track.He's the one putting the fingers down and calling those games back there, and this pitching did an unbelievable job against such a tough lineup.He did all of this one year after targeted hit at home plate tore three ankle ligaments, fractured his fibula and left him unable to walk for four months while he recuperated from two surgeries. Bochy paced Posey through the season with occasional starts at first base, but he still ended up exceeded expectations for innings and games caught.He's special, Bochy said. For him to come back off that injury shows you not only how tough he is, but what a special talent this guy is.

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