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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fantasy focus: Buster Posey

As fantasy owners, we tend to overreact.

One big game. One bad one. One walk-off celebration that results in a broken leg.

When Buster Posey -- the Giants' catcher of the future and one of baseball's top prospects -- was 3-for-4 with three RBI in his 2010 debut on May 29 against Arizona, we all took notice.

And many of us scrambled to get to our league's waiver wire.

Posey, who is eligible at catcher in most leagues, even though he's playing first base for the Giants this season, already is owned in 49.2 percent of the leagues on and 47 percent on Yahoo. Because catcher is such a goofy position this season -- the home-run leaders at the position are Rod Barajas, John Buck, Chris Snyder, Mike Napoli and Miguel Olivo -- the guess here is Posey is starting in most of the leagues in which he's been acquired.

If you're one of the instant believers, don't get too excited by the fast start of the No. 5 overall pick in the 2008 draft.

Posey entered this season with all of 17 major-league at-bats, and it wasn't long ago we expected instant offense from Orioles catcher Matt Wieters. In Year 2, Wieters is batting .246 with four homers (half of the total for Buck, Snyder, Napoli and Olivo), 12 runs and 16 RBI.

Posey has hit everywhere he's been. He was tearing up Triple-A this season -- a .349 average, six homers, 32 RBI and a .994 OPS in 47 games.

In 2008 and '09 in the minors, he batted .327 and had 94 runs, 19 homers, 86 RBI, six steals, 36 doubles and a .959 OPS in 459 at-bats. Then there was spring training with San Francisco this season, when Posey batted .315 with a homer and nine RBI in 54 at-bats.

Will he be a stud? Probably. But the same goes for Wieters, who turned 24 on May 21.

The latter is about 10 months older than Posey and played less than two seasons in the minor leagues. In a combined 578 minor-league at-bats in 2008 and '09, Wieters batted .343 with 32 homers, 121 RBI and a ridiculous 1.014 OPS.

On the day Posey made his triumphant 2010 debut, Giants veteran Aubrey Huff jokingly referred to him as "Jesus Christ" because of the hype.

Posey then had three hits and RBI No. 4 in his second game of the season. Counting Tuesday night, he was 1-for-7 in his next two contests.

Posey eventually should be a fantasy player to covet. If you can play him at catcher, he has some value now.

At this point, however, we'd settle for the 2010 Posey being compared to Rod Barajas at the plate.

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