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Thursday, February 28, 2008


C Brian McCann

Brian McCann enters into his third season in the big leagues and well-set into the Braves' catching role, despite his defensive shortcomings. It appears as if 2006 was a fluke season more than anything else, as McCann put up stats closer to his rookie campaign. Brian was slowed by hand and ankle injuries last season, so it's likely that he'll be able to put up stats somwhere between his 2006 and 2007 campaigns. It's that simple.

I'm going to try to do some "five tool" ratings just to give myself something to do. Maybe they'll be useful and informative to all of you. The rate is on a scale of 1-10.

For the record, I don't believe that the five-tool system is very effective in evaluating players. I just thought that it would be fun to do this.

48-50: A+
44-47: A
41-43: A-
38-40: B+
34-37: B
31-33: B-
28-30: C+
24-27: C
21-23: C-
18-20: D+
14-17: D
11-13: D-
0-10: F

AVERAGE: 7 - It's evident now that a lot of McCann's 2006 season was based on a lot of great hits and luck (.332 BABIP, for a .333 AVG). His BABIP was .282 last season, with a .270 average. Look for something between .270 and .333, because McCann is a very good batter. He isn't overly patient, but he does have a knack for smacking pitches a long way.

POWER: 8.5 - For a catcher, it's excellent. McCann finished fourth among all catchers in baseball in SLG (.452), and fourth in doubles (38).

BASERUNNING: 1 - Let's just say that McCann might be the slowest catcher since Ernie Lombardi. What I can say is that he doesn't take many risks on the basepaths. According to Bill James's Player Baserunning stats, McCann rarely tried to take extra bases and, thus, he didn't run into any outs. McCann at least gets a courtesy point for that.

THROWING: 2 - McCann seems to have a poor throwing arm; his CS% was just .20, one of the lowest totals in all the majors. If errors are a reflection of his accuracy, then 13 of them say that it's not very good.

FIELDING: 6 - Believe it or not, McCann only had six recorded passed balls. He was also able to make a lot of putouts, though (907). Few catchers got more than 900 putouts last season.

TOTAL: 24.5 (C) - McCann is focused mostly on offense.

Now, just like last year, here are four sources for projections and my own projection.

Baseball Prospectus (BP): .282/.345/.472, 19 HR, 80 RBI, 3 SB
Bill James Handbook (BJH): .297/.360/.586, 21 HR, 92 RBI, 1 SB
Rotowire (RW): .297/.349/.501, 20 HR, 88 RBI, 1 SB
The Sporting News (SN): .285/.340/.482, 20 HR, 93 RBI, 0 SB

Sam's Projection: .293/.352/.513, 19 HR, 92 RBI, 1 SB

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