Will Mets catcher James McCann rebound?
I have never bought into McCann as an All-Star catcher on the same level as J.T. Realmuto. When the Mets signed him, many thought it was the better move and not just because the team could go out and use the savings on the payroll elsewhere.
There was thought that McCann was developing into a nearly equal offensive player as Realmuto and was a Gold Glove contender.
We didn’t see any of that in 2021. I don’t think we will in 2022 either.
This doesn’t mean McCann is going to be stashed in the eight or nine spot in the lineup all year long. A lifetime .246/.299/.387 hitter, he’s hard to pinpoint because of all of the sways his career has had.
McCann has hit as high as .273 in a full season (excluding 2020) and as low as .220 (what he achieved a year prior to hitting .273). He’s the kind of offensive player that if he gets hot long enough his end of the year totals might look good. If he doesn’t, the year looks like a bust.
McCann’s struggles at the plate had to do with a high strikeout rate (27.9%) and groundballs (an alarming 51.7%). His line drive percentage went down to a career-low 20.2% after posting a career-best 33.3% the year prior. McCann wasn’t really unlucky. He was bad.
The lineup around him certainly didn’t do any favors. With some improvements from the bats before and after him, we can only hope it’s contagious. Even if he’s nowhere near his White Sox days, McCann can be at least a little closer to his own averages.