Friday, January 24, 2014
Player Assessment: Catcher
On the field, McCann is a power-hitting lefty who should have fun at Yankee Stadium, as Turner Field was not as home run friendly to lefties. McCann's career high in homers is 24, which he did twice in his career with Atlanta. He is a run producer and his power will translate to the short porch at Yankee Stadium. McCann however, has had trouble staying on the field over the last three seasons. He missed a combined 135 games going back to the 2011 season, and has had several visits on the disabled list. This may all change upon coming to New York, as his manager and bench coach are both former Major League catchers and Girardi is very good with resting guys, and to McCann's advantage he has the opportunity to DH some games, likely in day games after a night game. McCann's bat is definitely a bonus to his framing ability, which is among the highest in baseball.
Defensively, McCann is league average, or slightly below average. However, he can frame pitches well and gets along with his pitchers. McCann threw out only 24% of would-be base stealers in 2013, which is also his career average of caught stealing. Even so, his defense behind the plate has improved dramatically since his rookie days.
The Yankees newest catcher, who signed with the Yankees in November for 5 years and $85 million will be a great addition to the clubhouse, as well as on the field. McCann has a high ceiling and I believe that he will be rejuvenated and will perform best under the pressure of the screaming Bronx fans, who will learn to love his New York-like personality on the field.
My predictions for Brian McCann in 2014: .285 AVG, .350 OBP, 25 HR, 80 RBI