SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS SIGN TOP PICK BUSTER POSEY

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Buster Posey

The San Francisco Giants beat the deadline and signed top draft pick Buster Posey on Friday night.

The two sides had until midnight ET to reach a deal and worked right up until the deadline to agree to the contract. Terms of the deal were not released. Baseball America reported that Posey received a US$6.2-million bonus, which would be the biggest the Giants have ever given an amateur player. The previous high was the $2.55 million Dominican outfielder Rafael Ramirez got last month.

Posey, the fifth overall pick, got a bigger bonus than No. 1 Tim Beckham, who received $6.15 million from Tampa Bay. Some teams were scared away from picking Posey because of the big contract he wanted in order to leave Florida State.

Posey was San Francisco’s highest draft pick since Jason Grilli went fourth in 1997. The last time the Giants drafted a position player who became an All-Star for them was in 1986, when they picked Matt Williams third overall.

Posey is being counted on as a key part in the Giants rebuilding effort in the post-Barry Bonds era.

He became just the second catcher ever to win USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award as the nation’s top amateur player. He is the third Giants player to win the award, joining Tim Lincecum (2006) and Will Clark (1985).

The Giants are hoping that Posey will be ready to contribute in the majors quickly. Starting catcher Bengie Molina is signed through next season, meaning there’s a spot open on the roster as soon as 2010.

Posey, the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, led the NCAA in batting average (.472), on-base percentage (.572) and slugging percentage (.908). He also led Florida State with six saves and did not give up an earned run in eight appearances.

Posey was drafted as a pitcher and shortstop out of high school by the Los Angeles Angels in the 50th round but headed to college instead. He has a strong arm and his speed is considered above-average.

In May, the six-foot-two, 200-pound Posey played all nine defensive positions in one game and hit a grand slam. His strides at the plate helped elevate his status in the draft.

See Related: GIANTS WORLD SERIES 2010

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