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According to a report in Tuesday's San Francisco Chronicle, Giants catching prospect Buster Posey(notes) could arrive a bit sooner than we'd originally anticipated, regardless of his arbitration clock. Here's the scoop from Henry Schulman:

One team official said fans likely will not see Posey in San Francisco this weekend or even in Florida next week. However, the brass is keeping close tabs on Posey as the Giants' offense regresses.

The 2008 first-round draft pick is catching and playing first base at Triple-A Fresno at a time when Giants catcher Bengie Molina(notes) and first baseman Aubrey Huff(notes) are not producing. One does not need binoculars to see the potential benefit of Posey as a backup at each position.

Molina is actually batting .308 at the moment, although he's just 3-for-23 over his last seven games. Huff is hitting .239, which is almost dead-on his lifetime April average (.243). Neither player is doing anything unexpected.

Meanwhile, Posey is hitting .353/.438/.456 at Fresno. He only has four extra-base hits, though, so it's not as if he's playing home run derby in the PCL, a traditionally hitter-friendly league. As Schulman mentions, "reports on the ground say [Posey] is not driving the ball." Buster was a .325/.416/.531 hitter across two levels in 2009, however, and he hit 18 homers with 31 doubles in 497 plate appearances. 

I'd still rate Carlos Santana(notes) ahead of Posey for 2010 fantasy purposes, but it's beginning to sound as if Buster will win the race to the big leagues.

His grown-up name, just for the record, is "Gerald Demp Posey III." Not quite as creepy as Larry Wayne Jones Jr., but close. 

Programming note: This week's Closing Thoughts has been delayed, due to completely foreseeable circumstances that we nonetheless failed to adequately plan for. Here's the incredibly short version: Kerry Wood(notes) is progressing, Chad Qualls(notes) is recovering, Brad Lidge(notes) is returning, Neftali Feliz(notes) is stumbling, Frank Francisco(notes) is improving, the O's got nothin', and Octavio Dotel(notes) has been awful (in keeping with team tradition).


Photo via AP Images 

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