Buster Posey is the leading candidate to win the National League MVP award, which will be announced today live on the MLB Network at 6 p.m.
Want To Watch?
WHO: Lee County native and San Francisco Giants Catcher Buster Posey.
WHAT: NL MVP announcement.
WHEN: 6 p.m. today.
WHERE: New York.
TV: MLB Network.
NEW YORK — Southwest Georgia is already home to a World Series MVP in Albany native Ray Knight.
But by this evening, chances are it will also be home to another MVP winner: Leesburg’s own Buster Posey.
Posey, the San Francisco Giants’ star catcher who has won two World Series rings in just three years in the big leagues, is widely considered the favorite for the 2012 National League MVP — the most prized individual award in all of professional baseball.
The award, for the first time in history, will be announced live on television at 6 p.m. today on the MLB Network. Posey, however, will be home in Leesburg at The Lee County Transitional Learning Center tonight for a scheduled appearance as the guest speaker when the MVP announcement is made.
Posey, who capped his first season with a World Series title and the NL Rookie of the Year award, then missed half of his second year with a leg injury, is coming off another amazing season after returning to full strength this past spring. He not only won the NL batting title with a .336 average and was named the MLB Comeback Player of the Year, he led the Giants back to the World Series, where they won again, this time sweeping the Detroit Tigers.
Posey’s only competition for the award, which was voted by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America before the postseason began, is considered to be Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun and Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
But many in the national media expect Posey to win in a landslide.
Renowned writer Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated said recently it will come down to Posey and Braun — and Posey will win.
“When you play a demanding position like catcher, hit in the middle of the lineup with big hits, clutch hits, that’s the definition of an MVP,” Verducci said last week during an interview on the MLB Network. “I think it should be a fairly large margin for Buster Posey.”
Posey had a season for the ages.
Not only did he become the first catcher in 70 years to win the NL batting title, he led the majors on on-base percentage (.408), smacked 24 homers and had 103 RBI. But he may be judged more on the direction his team went once the NL’s leading hitter and Posey’s San Francisco teammate, Melky Cabrera, was suspended 50 games for using performance-enhancing drugs after the All-Star break. Rather than wilt in a tight NL West race when Cabrera went out, Posey literally and figuratively stepped up to the plate and led the Giants to the title. He hit .385 — best in the majors — post-All-Star break and led the Giants to the division title by a whopping eight games over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Add all of that up, and Posey isn’t expected to be challenged much by last year’s MVP Braun (.319, 41 homers, 112 RBI) — who has since had a cloud of suspicion cast over him because of a positive PED test following his MVP win in 2011 — or McCutchen (.327, 31 HRs, 96 RBI), whose team faded badly down the stretch thanks partly to a terrible slump by their speedy outfielder.