FRESNO, CA – Fresno Grizzlies catcher Buster Posey has been named the winner of the 50th annual J.G. Taylor Spink Award as the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year for 2009. The highly touted Giants prospect split this past season with Single-A Advanced San Jose and the Grizzlies before earning a September call-up to San Francisco. One of the most popular Grizzlies of all time, Posey is the first player in Fresno franchise history to be awarded the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year honor.
Posey reached Fresno on July 14th, skipping the Double-A classification entirely, and quickly became an offensive force at the Triple-A level. As a member of the Grizzlies, the Georgia native replicated the success he had found at each stop of his young professional career, hitting .321 with 5 home runs and 22 RBI in 35 games behind the plate for Fresno.
After getting his feet wet in 10 professional games in 2008, Posey started the 2009 season tearing up California League pitching with San Jose. He accumulated a .326 average with 13 homers, 23 doubles, and 58 RBI with San Jose before getting the highly anticipated bump to Fresno. At the time of his September 11th Major League debut, the Florida State product had amassed an impressive 2009 Minor League stat line including a .325 average, 18 home runs, 31 doubles and 80 RBI. The 2008 Golden Spikes Award winner collected his first Major League hit on September 19th against the Dodgers.
The Player of the Year award named after J.G. Taylor Spink, the publisher of The Sporting News from 1914 to 1962, is awarded by the Topps Company of New York in conjunction with Minor League Baseball. Other Spink Award winners include Derek Jeter (1994), Johnny Damon (1995), Andruw Jones (1996), Paul Konerko (1997), Eric Chavez (1999), and Josh Beckett (2001). Another honor bearing Spink’s name is presented annually by the Baseball Writers Association of America for meritorious service in baseball coverage.