Of all the praise Giants rookie catcher Patrick Bailey has received this season, perhaps Buster Posey carries the most ringing endorsement.
In an exclusive interview with The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly, Posey shared what he has seen from Bailey this season.
“The biggest thing that stands out to me is he has a quiet calm, a quiet confidence,” Posey told Baggarly. “It’s oozing off him onto the screen, even watching him on TV. It’s hard to measure how important that is, not just for the pitching staff but for the rest of the guys that are watching every pitch.
“You can see all the tools he has — obviously he has a tremendous arm, his pop time is as good as anybody’s — but for me, the biggest thing is the fact that as soon as he walks on the field, you feel good about winning that game. And that’s a strong attribute to have.”
As Baggarly mentions, Posey and Bailey first worked together in spring training before the 2021 season, however, the two were reacquainted earlier this spring when Posey, now part of the Giants' ownership group, was a featured speaker at an assembly the team organized at the Papago Park complex.
Posey then opened the floor to questions, and Bailey was the first young player to raise his hand. The then-23-year-old asked Posey what he should do in order to gain the trust of a veteran pitching staff.
Fast forward five-plus months and the Giants' veteran pitchers not only trust Bailey behind the plate, but some have completely surrendered pitch-calling duties over to the rookie.
San Francisco Giants
“I hadn’t spent a lot of time around him since that ’21 camp but I noticed a different maturity level,” Posey said. “He was asking bigger-picture questions. He seemed ready to take that leap, and he was. It’s going to be fun to watch him down the stretch.”
Posey retired after the 2021 season and left the Giants with a void at catcher that the team struggled to fill until Bailey debuted on May 19.
Since then, the Giants haven't looked back and Bailey appears well on his way to following in the future-Hall-of-Famer's footsteps.