The 2021 MLB season is just a few short months away and the excitement around the New York Mets is insane! If you remember, last year there was a lot of excitement coming in but much of that was quelled by the pandemic canceling much of the season.
When the season came back, there was a DH and all sorts of other rules that seemed to work in the Mets’ favor. Well, just like many of the years prior, we were let down. This year is different though!
The Mets with an all-new owner, Steve Cohen, a revamped front office of the returning Sandy Alderson, and newcomer GM Jared Porter have gotten quickly to work.
Their first big move was bringing in a bonafide Major League catcher with James McCann.
With all that being said, here are three predictions I have for James McCann in his first season with the Mets.
Most stability behind the plate for the Mets since Paul LoDuca
Going all the way back to the late 80s, the Mets have had some solid names as catchers. You think of Gary Carter, Todd Hundley, Mike Piazza, and Paul LoDuca. But since that 2007 season by LoDuca, the team’s catching situation has been a mess (bigger breakdown coming later).
My very first prediction for James McCann is that he provides the Mets with the most stability behind the dish since LoDuca.
For years we kept hearing about how Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki were the future. There were some starts and spurts from d’Arnaud, but nothing ever materialized in the Mets uniform for these two.
There were also forgettable stops at the beginning of the 2010s by Rod Barajas and John Buck. Then who could forget the few months of Devin Mesoraco that showed us just what a real catcher looked like.
Next was Wilson Ramos who had a wonderful offensive showing in 2019 but then fell off a cliff in 2020 at nearly everything.
McCann comes to the Mets after years and years of sub-par catching performances. He also comes to a team where he wasn’t the first choice, but he was the best choice. This means his ceiling of expectation won’t be as high as J.T. Realmuto. McCann can just be himself.
The overall stats for McCann aren’t flashy. In fact, he’s never played more than 118 games. However, his numbers in the last two seasons, even with a shortened 2020, are on the rise.
If he could give the Mets 120 – 130 games (never done), and hit a modest 15+ homeruns and 60 RBIs, that would put him in a category as one of the better catchers since LoDuca. More importantly, a sad expectation is having a catcher who “catches” the ball and from all accounts, McCann is good at that.
The prospect of Tomas Nido as a backup isn’t particularly exciting but he showed some progress in very limited time in 2020.