What went wrong: James McCann wasn’t a very good hitter
The other part of McCann’s game wasn’t nearly as good. He slashed .232/.294/.349 this year with only 10 home runs and 46 RBI. His slash line numbers were awful enough that they are below where his career totals now stand: .246/.299/.387.
There were plenty of moments where McCann came up short for the Mets. He was a double play machine at times but did finish the season with only a dozen of them. This isn’t outrageously high. I suppose the moments he ended up with them were such major rally killers.
Just about any number you want to look at was a bad one from an offensive perspective. His 131 total bases showcase a lack of power both in the form of home runs and doubles. The .643 OPS is ugly. The Mets will have to hope his days with the Chicago White Sox weren’t some fluke—a worry of mine from the start.
McCann wasn’t even just a light-hitting catcher. He struck out 115 times for a 27.9% per plate appearance. Among all of his batted balls, 51.7% were groundballs. When you have a catcher’s speed and aren’t hitting the ball very hard, these usually end up as easy outs.
And that was exactly what McCann’s problem became in 2021. He didn’t drive the ball. Teams had an easy time putting a dent in his batting average.