There are many who doubt the New York Yankees‘signing of Brian McCann. The 30-year-old catcher was brought in during the offseason on a five year, $85 million contract. For most players, a contract such as this would bring along expectations too great to fulfill, however, the seven-time All-Star McCann is only going to impress during his time in pinstripes.
His number’s behind the plate have undoubtedly declined over the past few years. McCann has not had a season with more than 80 RBIs since 2009 when he batted in 94 runs. He also failed to break the 100-hit mark last season for just the first time since his rookie season. To the naked eye, these declining numbers are the product of the catcher’s diminishing ability. However, I am here to tell you that although McCann may not be the player he was in 2008, he is still one of the elite catchers in the game and the Yankees should be ecstatic to have him.
When projecting McCann’s future production in the Bronx, simply looking at his numbers from prior years will only do so much. For starters, he is switching over from the National League to the American League. This means manager Joe Girardi will have the option to DH him when the catcher is a little banged up or simply needs a rest. Spending some time in the DH role will help keep McCann’s bat hot, while minimizing the wear and tear that the catcher could accumulate throughout the course of the season.
We have all seen what left-handed hitters can do with that short porch in right field. Curtis Granderson had two seasons with more than 40 home runs in that park. Johnny Damon even showed off some power while wearing pinstripes. There is no telling what McCann can do. Since the start of his second year in the league, he has had just one season in which he hit less than 20 home runs. Now that he has changed into pinstripes, I expect no less than 30 homers a season. There is no doubt that McCann will add a significant punch to a Bronx Bombers lineup that struggled to produce in 2013.
McCann is going to be a stellar player for the Yankees. Not only does he bring veteran leadership from the catcher position, he also gives the Yankees an additional bat in the middle of the lineup. For all those that think McCann’s best days are behind him, you better think again. McCann’s best has yet to be seen.