James McCann – C
Even in my wildest dream lineup I can’t envision James McCann not being a part of it. His contract is bad and no team will ever take him in a trade without the Mets giving something of value attached to him.
The Mets inked McCann to a four-year $40 million-dollar deal to be their catcher. He was supposed to be a guy they could rely on to play five or six days a week and be one of the more productive catchers offensively and defensively in the league.
It’s safe to say this season was a disaster for McCann. He slashed .232/.294/.349 with 10 home runs and 46 RBI.
McCann was coming off of two great offensive seasons in Chicago including being an all-star in 2019. What was really noticeable this season compared to the previous two was the lack of power.
McCann had just 23 extra-base hits this season. He had 10 last season in 401 fewer plate appearances. In 2019, he had 45 in 64 more plate appearances.
McCann hit an astonishing number of ground balls this season. He hit 52.1% of his batted balls on the ground, up from the 39.1% last season. As a result, his line drive percentage went way down. It went from 33.3% in 2020 to 20.2% this season. It’s pretty obvious. As a catcher with little to no speed, if McCann is going to have any sort of success offensively, he’s going to have to get more lift on the ball.
I believe the Mets should start McCann and hope he produces offensively. However, I believe if he struggles out of the gate, Tomas Nido should get a majority of the starts.
He’s an elite defender and the pitchers seem to do better when throwing to him. If the Mets build a really good lineup to hit in front of the catcher spot it’s not the worst thing in the world to have a defensive-minded catcher play most of the time.