There is an expectation around MLB insiders that the Mets will have a new catcher named J.T. Realmuto in 2021. Obviously Realmuto is a great catcher, arguably the best out there. Him in Orange and Blue would be great, but not how I would spend the money. In comes: James McCann.
James McCann has been a very solid hitter for the White Sox over the last 2 seasons. He hit .273/.328/.460 in 2019, followed by a better slash line in 2020 (.289/.360/.536). This comes after years of under average hitting seasons. Looking at the stat cast numbers, it shows McCann average exit velo was up and he barreled more pitches up. He went from 180th in exit velo to 79th in the majors. A clear indicator he has been hitting the ball with more authority. It actually increased his whiff%, but who cares?
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On the defensive side, McCann was in the 88th percentile in framing, something Mets catchers have lacked in recent years. His pop up time to second isn’t great, but overall he was and still is a very solid defensive catcher. Even if he declines on the offensive side, he is still a solid defender that has shown little issues with his health so far in his career.
Contract wise, McCann is a far cheaper option than Realmuto. According to Fangraphs, McCann is projected to get a 2 year deal worth 7 mil per year. While I think McCann will get a better deal (3/24), I still think it’s worth while. IMO, that’s a better gamble than getting Realmuto for the contract he wants.
Again, love Realmuto as a player. He is clearly the best out there. But spending money, should be wisely, even if you can spend a lot. Sandy will try and work that way and maybe look at McCann or other catchers instead of the big gun.
Photo: USA Today