North Allegheny catcher Aaron Posey commits to Division I Kennesaw State
Saturday, July 31, 2021 | 8:03 AM
As a catcher named Posey who wears No. 28, North Allegheny’s Aaron Posey sometimes jokes that he’s related to a National League MVP.
But, no, he’s not Buster’s cousin.
Still North Allegheny coach Andrew Heck sees a similarity in their work behind the plate that goes beyond name and number. Aaron Posey has drawn praise for his defensive skills and his work with pitchers, key factors in NA’s WPIAL title run this spring.
A 6-foot-2, 212-pound rising senior, Posey committed July 14 to play at Kennesaw State, an NCAA Division I program in Georgia.
“The way Aaron controls the game, the way he talks to pitchers, the way he handles himself on the baseball field, I don’t know if you’ll find anyone better,” Heck said. “A lot was said about our pitchers this year and their numbers. A lot of that is on him.”
He threw out 63% of would-be base stealers and allowed only seven passed balls in 27 games.
It’s no surprise he ended up as a catcher. Posey says he might’ve been the only 6-year-old with a full set of catcher’s equipment, so he knew from an early age he’d be working behind the plate.
“I was born and raised a catcher,” Posey said. “My dad caught in college and through high school. His brother played professionally and was also a catcher. So I started catching, I think, at the age of 6.
“I was the first catcher I know at that age with his own catching gear. I kind of embraced it from the get go.”
In mid-July, Posey caught the attention of Kennesaw State coaches while playing in the Perfect Game WWBA National Championship in nearby Marietta, Ga. They contacted Posey’s summer coach with Team Ohio Pro Select and he found time for a campus visit.
Posey quickly committed, lured to the school by the coaches and the warm Georgia weather. He’d also talked with Florida Atlantic, UNC Charlotte and South Carolina-Upstate, but was excited that Kennesaw State’s coach, Ryan Coe, was a former catcher who’d spent 12 years as an MLB scout.
“That’s huge as a catcher,” Posey said. “Having a coach who knows the catching side of things was big for me.”
With Posey behind the plate, North Allegheny won the WPIAL Class 6A title in the spring and finished as the state runner-up. He proved his durability by catching all but 12 of the team’s 1742⁄3 innings.
Posey threw out 12 of 19 base stealers, a remarkable .632 rate, and picked off four runners. He’s also shown a knack for blocking pitches in the dirt, a talent that let NA pitchers throw breaking balls lower in the strike zone.
“That’s one of the biggest reasons for the number of strikeouts we had,” Heck said. “I can’t tell you how many balls that he blocked in games, and it looks just so effortless and smooth. It’s unbelievable.”
Posey batted .305 last season with seven extra base hits and 13 RBIs. He and his courtesy runners accounted for 20 runs. His goal this summer is improving those numbers for next season and beyond.
“My main focus is on the offensive side of things,” Posey said. “Staying short, consistent and fluid. Have some rhythm. Relax a little bit.”
As for defensive comparisons to Buster Posey, Heck would know. He was thrown out by the future MLB all-star in their college days when Duquesne played at Florida State.
“They’re kind of the same build,” Heck said. “Buster was more of a polished hitter. But their communication and their command of the pitchers in the game, they’re kind of the same. I think Aaron might be a little more vocal, which I love.”
Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
Tags: North Allegheny
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