Mets catcher James McCann won’t look much better this season
James McCann was not the same hitter with the Mets as he was during his two seasons with the Chicago White Sox. Compared to even his weaker Detroit Tigers days, last year was pretty rough.
The Mets signed McCann to a four-year contract prior to the 2021 season. The stopgap until prospect Francisco Alvarez is ready for big league baseball, McCann’s deal—while still rather modest in dollars—could end up being a burden on the payroll sooner than anyone could have hoped.
McCann has a long way to go to get back to the .276/.334/.474 hitter he was during his days with the White Sox. When we consider outliers in a player’s career, those two years look like the high of what he can do. His 2021 Mets performance was closer to his own career averages pre-Chicago.
A few big hits and maybe some more power could help restore some faith in McCann. More likely, he can get a few fans off his back by doing the little things well. This starts and ends with his defense.
The defensive performance of a catcher can get overlooked more than any other position. Things like framing and game-calling aren’t always seen. They can be subjective, too.
But unless McCann is an elite defender and comes away with a Gold Glove in 2022, I just don’t see him regaining any of the trust fans had in him pre-2021.