Posey Selected for Hawaii Winter Baseball

Buster Posey’s whirlwind season is about to get even better.

Posey and four other first-round picks will be dispatched later this month to Hawaii Winter Baseball, and more highly regarded prospects likely will follow when the circuit announces its complete roster later this week.

The other first-round picks include Reds first baseman Yonder Alonso, Astros catcher Jason Castro and Mets shortstop/outfielder Reese Havens. Yankees lefthander Jeremy Bleich, a first-round supplemental pick, also has been added. They were selected seventh, 10th, 22nd and 44th overall in June’s draft.

Posey was the fifth overall selection, drafted by the Giants and signed for $6.2 million following a decorated career at Florida State University.

Posey hit .351/.467/.622 with a home run and six RBIs in only 10 games combined at Rookie-level Arizona and short-season Salem Kaizer. He also joined high Class A San Jose for the California League playoffs and was 4-for-17 with two RBIs in the North Division series.

All this came on the heels of Posey’s remarkable career at Florida State, where he won every major Player of the Year award this season—including Baseball America’s top collegian—and was named the 2008 Golden Spikes Award winner in July.

In leading the Seminoles back to the College World Series for the first time since 2000, Posey won the Atlantic Coast Conference’s triple crown with a .463 average, 26 home runs and 93 RBIs. He also was a first-team NCAA All-American.

The Hawaii Winter League gets under way on Sept. 27 and runs through Nov. 16. Six teams from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball organization will send players, as will the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization.

The league features 23 games at the University of Hawaii’s Les Murakami Stadium and 58 games at Waipahu’s Hans L’Orange Park.

Teams are the North Shore Honu, West Oahu CaneFires, Waikiki BeachBoys and Honolulu Sharks. A championship game is set for Nov. 16 at Murakami Stadium.

Alonso, who led the Miami Hurricanes to the College World Series, was .316/.440/.368 (6-for-19) with a double and two RBIs at high Class A Sarasota. He hit .370 with 24 home runs and 72 RBIs at Miami.

Castro spearheaded Stanford’s return to the College World Series this season, hitting .376 with 73 RBIs, and was .275/.383/.384 with nine doubles, two home runs and 12 RBIs at short-season Tri-City.

Havens signed after his junior season at South Carolina and hit .247/.340/.471 with six doubles, two triples, three home runs and 11 RBIs with short-season Brooklyn.

Bleich, who pitched only 33 innings as he battled an elbow strain at Stanford, worked a three-inning start for short-season Staten Island, his only pro appearance this year.