Posey or Heyward?

Despite his Georgian bias and my love of Rice-A-Roni, I have to agree with Bradbury here. Posey hit .305 with 18 home runs and solid defense as a catcher, but didn’t walk that many times, lowering his OBP to a good-but-not-great .357. His poor defense at first for a few weeks also undid some of this good work behind the plate. Heyward, for his part, hit .277 with 18 home runs, but walked 91 times for a .393 OBP. Heyward was a good defender in right, and also played in 34 more games than Posey. Posey’s (Baseball-Ref) WAR was 3.0; Heyward’s was 4.4. Heyward had a better year.

But that’s not even the most important thing here. Posey is 23 years old. Heyward was just 20 for most of this season, turning 21 in August. Heyward was not only a better player than Posey this season, but he did it all as one of the youngest players in the major leagues. This makes him a freak — Here are the all-time leaders in OPS by a 20-year-old rookie:

Rk Player OPS Year Age Tm
1 Ted Williams 1.045 1939 20 BOS
2 Frank Robinson .936 1956 20 CIN
3 Orlando Cepeda .854 1958 20 SFG
4 Jason Heyward .849 2010 20 ATL
5 Willie Mays .828 1951 20 NYG
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/8/2010.

Those are some pretty lofty names. If you sort it by OPS+, Heyward jumps to third.

Posey will probably be a good or even great player for a few years. Heyward has a chance to be something really special. Sorry everyone. He’s going to be terrorizing the Mets for years and years and years . . .

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