Could Buster Posey Develop into an Elite MLB Third Baseman?

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIAugust 21, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 4:  Designated hitter Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants bats in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays August 4, 2013 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

At some point in every catcher's career, the body starts to wear down. After all, catcher is one of the most taxing positions in baseball.

For San Francisco's Buster Posey, the story will be no different.

But there may be a future at third base for Posey, according to Andrew Baggarly of

It’s a thought that Giants manager Bruce Bochy has volunteered more than onceand he did it again in a relaxed pregame session with reporters on Wednesday.

"I think he’d be a really good third baseman," Bochy said. "We like him where he’s at now. And this is something (that would happen) if he took the time to learn it in the offseason and spring training. But he’s an athlete and he has the hands and the arm."

The thought of having Posey at third base is an interesting one.

Not only would he get away from catching long-term, but he would likely be able to do a little more at the plate without the wear and tear of being behind it.


Could Posey Handle Third Base?

We all know how good of an athlete Posey is, but could he actually handle the hot corner?

Posey has thrown out 20 of 75 base stealers. It must also be noted that he's only allowed three passed balls this year, which shows he's great behind the plate.

There's no doubt that after he learns the position he will handle it confidently.

You would also get more starts out of him than you would at catcher, thus keeping his bat in the lineup. Additionally, you don't have to worry about collisions at home plate.

People can point to his value as a catcher, but in the end, the Giants have to decide if he's more valuable to the team at catcher or third base.


Casting the Vision

As Baggarly noted in his story, Pablo Sandoval is a free agent after next season.

The Giants hope Pablo Sandoval will be primed for a big season next year as he aspires to put up numbers and position himself for free agency. Then they’d let him sign elsewhere and move Posey to third base in 2015.

(Or, if Sandoval remains part of the plan here, he could move to first base. That’s Brandon Belt’s spot and there are no plans to move him, although Bochy acknowledged that if the club saw a route to boost the offense by acquiring a first baseman this winter, they would consider moving Belt to left field.)

The opportunity will be there for the Giants to make the move—with or without Sandoval.

The Giants could use the offseason and spring training to coach Posey up on third base and then give him a few games during the regular season to man the position.

If Sandoval re-signs, that's just another place Posey can play when the Giants want to give him a rest from behind the plate.

Depending on what the Giants see from their star, it could set into motion the future of the team for 2015 and beyond.