(Sports Network) - Life has been pretty good to San Francisco Giants catcher
The 25-year-old just won his second World Series title in three years, has
been named the National League's Comeback Player of the Year and most recently
picked up a Silver Slugger Award. Now, he could add an MVP to his resume on
Thursday when the Baseball Writers' Association of America names its winner.
Posey is one of five finalists, along with last year's winner Ryan Braun of
Milwaukee, Padres third baseman Chase Headley, Pirates outfielder Andrew
McCutchen and Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina.
But, it is the former Rookie of the Year Posey who appears to be the front
Posey returned this season after playing just 45 games in 2011 because of a
fractured fibula and torn ligaments in his left ankle after a gruesome home-
He returned with a vengeance, though, and earned his first All-Star selection,
while winning a batting title. He hit .336 with a career-best 24 home runs
and 103 runs batted in, adding career highs of 39 doubles, 78 runs scored,
a .408 on-base percentage and a .549 slugging percentage.
He ranked among NL leaders in on-base percentage (second), slugging percentage
(fourth), RBIs (sixth), multi-hit games (52, tied for sixth), total bases
(291, tied for seventh), hits (178, tied for eighth), doubles (tied for
eighth) and walks (10th).
Posey also did most of his damage when it mattered most, as he hit .385 with
23 doubles, 14 homers and 60 RBIs in 71 games after the All-Star break.
The 2010 NL Rookie of the Year, Posey is trying to become the Giants' first
MVP since Barry Bonds won four in a row from 2001-04.
Posey's main competition could come from another catcher in Molina, who shined
this past season. Already an all-world defender, Molina excelled at the plate,
batting .315 with 22 home runs and 76 RBIs.
Coming off an MVP season in 2011, Braun made his fifth consecutive All-Star
team while leading the NL with 41 home runs, 356 total bases and a .987 OPS.
The 28-year-old batted .319 with 36 doubles, 112 RBIs and 30 stolen bases.
McCutchen, the Players Choice as the NL's Outstanding Player, appeared to be a
lock to win this award at one point for the Pirates. But, the team collapsed
down the stretch and endured their 20th straight losing season, essentially
taking him out of the mix. Still, McCutchen was the lone bright spot for the
Bucs, as he established career highs in homers (31) and RBIs (96); led the
league in hits with 194; and finished second to Posey in the batting race,
with a .327 average.
Headley, meanwhile, also enjoyed a career-year, as he led the National League
with 115 RBIs to go with 31 home runs. Overall, he hit .286 with 173 hits in
The American League MVP will also be named on Thursday.
THE SPORTS NETWORK PICK: BUSTER POSEY, SF GIANTS
The Sports Network