When comparing the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves, one position you would think the Braves hold an advantage in would be the catching position, but that isn’t exactly the case. Let’s look at the two players and dive into this a little bit more. Brian McCann was injured for part of the year, and when he came back to the Braves he played his position at a fairly high level. He hit 20 home runs with 57 RBI while having a .256 batting average. Now when you compare that to A.J. Ellis batting .238 with 10 home runs and 52 RBI, you would think McCann smokes him in all three categories while playing less, but there is one stat I want to take a look at that helps A.J.’s case in this argument.
Wins above replacement or WAR tells you basically how many more wins the team got with that player in the lineup rather than their backup. McCann posted a 2.1 WAR while A.J. had a 2.2 WAR. Now I understand the .1 isn’t much of a difference, but it does indeed point out that just because McCann is the more dominant hitter, he isn’t exactly far and above better than A.J. When the series between the Braves and Dodgers starts this Thursday, there are quite a few players on each team worth talking about. McCann is one of them, but we can’t exactly forget about Ellis. While he is no Mike Piazza or even Paul Lo Duca, Ellis has the ability to make a clutch hit, and the Braves shouldn’t sleep on him heading into this series.