Atlanta Braves’ Evan Gattis Is Huge Downgrade From Brian McCann

Evan Gattis

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The Atlanta Braves‘ Spring Training games have officially started as of today, and one thing is clear – Brian McCann is really gone. This will be the first time in nine seasons that the team will have a primary catcher behind the plate not named McCann. However, the team is confident in what their new catcher, Evan Gattis, will have the ability to do.

Gattis is capable of picking up the offensive production that the team lost with McCann’s departure. He can hit .240-.250 in a complete season and his power numbers will be comparable to, if not better than, McCann’s. Where the team may suffer is the fact that Gattis doesn’t get on base nearly as often as McCann did. In the same number of games and in two less at bats, Gattis had an on-base percentage of .291, striking out 81 times and walking only 21. McCann only struck out more than 80 times three times as a Brave, and his average on-base percentage was .350.

Where the Braves will miss McCann is on the defensive side of the baseball. He was a guy that pitchers had learned to trust and he could help the younger guys along in a tough game at times. Gattis, however, isn’t as solid behind the plate. His instincts aren’t all there, as he spent some time last season holding down left field. His glove isn’t as good behind the plate either.

Being able to hit 20-30 home runs will be a good thing for the Braves. They are going to miss some scoring opportunities though, seeing that Gattis doesn’t get on base nearly as much as McCann did. He is also a step slower behind the plate as their former long time catcher.

Steven Whitaker is an Atlanta Braves writer for Follow him on Twitter @CoachStevenWhit, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your circles on Google.

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  • rick staley

    pleeeez!!! Gattis isn’t expected to get on base as Mac did. But when he does, he will surely take more extra bases than Mac. Evan Gattis will definitely average more HR’s , and throw out just as many base runners as well. Mac was lazy behind the plate up until last season when it was his walk year contractually speaking.

    Furthermore, I’ll surely miss Mac’s leadership( Carlos Gomez you will not cross the plate without hearing from me today regarding your bush league antics), calling games for young pitchers, and his usually high batting average for catchers. He never drove in 100 RBI’s, hit over .300, or won an MVP either. Also, I don’t expect Gattis to do any of the above next year either. So, painting Mac’s exit as the sky is falling in Atlanta would be an horrendous piece of artwork in itself.

    Nonetheless, Atlanta will continue to win despite Mac’s grand entrance into the Big Apple. With the bare-handed crusher of the orbital sphere behind the plate for the Tomahawks in 2014 and beyond, Braves fans will once again have a new catcher calling the shots just as they did in 2005. Hopefully, this Great White Bear helps bring home his prey ( WS championship trophy for winning the last game played in 2014). That’s what matters the most to Bravo fans everywhere!!!