Thursday, June 3, 2010

College Baseball is Busting Out

I was watching the San Francisco Giants yesterday on TV and every time Buster Posey came up to bat, the crowd went crazy in excitement...For those of you that don't know, the Giants rookie played college baseball for the Florida State Seminoles under coach Mike Martin.

He began his freshman year at FSU playing shortstop. He started all 65 games for the Seminoles and was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. He finished his freshman campaign with a .346 batting average, four home runs and 48 RBI. As a sophomore he moved from shortstop to catcher. He batted .382 with three home runs and 65 RBI. After just one season of playing the position, Posey was a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, awarded to the best catcher in college baseball. He would end up finishing behind Edward Easley of the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

In 2008, as a junior, he hit .463 with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs, won the Johnny Bench Award and was named the 2008 Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year. On June 14, 2008, Posey was awarded the Dick Howser Trophy, and on July 16, 2008, he won the Golden Spikes Award, which is given to the best player in amateur baseball.

In addition, Posey started at shortstop on the 2006 Cape Cod Baseball League championship team for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox and started as the catcher on the 2007 championship team as well. The Giants drafted him in 2008. Since then, he has become a minor league phenom...escalating through the ranks and this week was finally promoted to the Giants.

He really came on the scene during the 2008 NCAA Regional and College World Series when he was vying for the NCAA home run lead. Fans across the country were amazed at the versatility of this kid. On May 12th, 2008 against Savannah, he played all 9 positions in one game.

The thing is...baseball fans across the country usually don't go this crazy over a minor league prospect...but a college star...a CWS participant...a player of the year at a high profile school...that's a different story...MLB is missing out by not tapping into and financially supporting the college game more. Buster Posey jerseys are selling out...he gets ovations at every at bat...This would not have happened if he was a draft pick out of high school...He was already on the big stage during the 2008 NCAA CWS...They liked what they saw and they now want more.

But, Buster is not the only college star making waves...On June 8th, Stephen Strasburg makes his MLB debut...That will be a spectacle...

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