June 25, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (16) during batting practice before a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Enjoy McCann While You Still (mc)Can

Brian McCann is having quite a nice season, and I hope Braves fans are paying attention, because it’s probably his last one in Atlanta. McCann is a free agent after the season and will likely command a large contract since he is still one of the elite hitting catchers in baseball. With the emergence of Evan Gattis, many speculate that the Braves will let McCann walk in favor of playing Gattis and getting similar production for a much smaller salary and using the McCann money elsewhere. I can’t say I am 100% against this idea, but I sure am not looking forward to it.

One of the biggest reasons I am dreading it is because I really like Mac and I don’t want to see him in Yankee pinstripes, which is where I think he would most likely end up. The Yankee catching situation is really pitiful and they will go hard after McCann in the off-season with buckets of money. Could you imagine McCann playing in Yankee Stadium with that short right field porch out there? He might hit 40 homers. All things considered a move to the Yankees and the AL would probably do wonders for his career and ultimately his HOF chances. He would be able to extend his career by DH’ing a few days a week or ultimately becoming a full-time DH late in his career. You would have to also think that the field dimensions of Yankee Stadium that are VERY generous to left-handed batters will help his career numbers.

McCann is currently on an 8 game hitting streak where he is hitting an absurd .594 (19 for 32) with 6 2B’s and 2 HR’s. He is currently leading ALL major league catchers in OPS (.926), wOBA (.396), wRC+ (155), and is second to teammate Evan Gattis in Slugging % and ISO.

In fact, lets look at the McCann vs. Gattis stats side by side since they have almost the exact same plate appearances on the season.

  • McCann:
    PAs
    184
    ABs
    161
    Runs
    20
    Hits
    49
    2B
    8
    3B
    0
    HR
    10
    RBI
    28
    SB
    0
    CS
    1
    BB
    20
    Ks
    28
    AVG
    .304
    OBP
    .386
    SLG
    .540
    OPS
    .926
  • Gattis:
    PAs
    183
    ABs
    163
    Runs
    24
    Hits
    41
    2B
    11
    3B
    0
    HR
    14
    RBI
    37
    SB
    0
    CS
    0
    BB
    14
    Ks
    41
    AVG
    .252
    OBP
    .317
    SLG
    .577
    OPS
    .894

What if you could combine those two into one hitter? McCann seems like the more complete hitter, with the higher average, more walks, less Ks, while Gattis has more power with 7 more XBH than Brian in one less plate appearance. One could hope that as Gattis matures as a hitter, he would learn a bit better plate discipline to increase his walks and swing at better pitches. Either way, there is not a better 1-2 catcher punch in all of baseball and we should all enjoy it while we still can.

 

Tags: Atlanta Braves Brian McCann Evan Gattis

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