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Brian McCann is better than your catcher.

September 13, 2011; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher

I have been pondering a Brian McCann post for a while. I guess what really got me going on it was this tweet I saw tonight:

@MLBNetwork: Molina? Posey? Mauer? Find out who the best catcher is tonight at 9pm ET on #Top10RightNow.

I love MLB Network as much as the next guy, but come on now. If you asked 100 people who followed baseball–at least casually–who the top three catchers in the game were how many would not include Brian McCann? Well, if you want to find out you will have to conduct your own study but I’d say most of them would include McCann.

It’s about time I ranted on the Take. I try to avoid such random posts but the Posey lovers, Mauer lovers, and Molina(!?!?) lovers of the world have pushed me over the edge. It’s rant time.

  • Since entering the league in 2005 Brian McCann has been an All-Star 6 times. 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011. He also was the MVP in the 2010 game.
  • Brian McCann has 5 Silver Sluggers. 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.
  • McCann has played the most games out of all catchers since 2006 with 823.
  • Brian McCann has 131 home runs since 2006 which leads all catchers.
  • He is third in ISO since with .204. David Ross and Mike Napoli are higher than him.
  • Mac ranks fourth in average since 2006 with a .287 mark.
  • Brian ranks fourth in on base percentage (.359) in the same period of 5 years.
  • He is second in slugging percentage (.491) behind Napoli.

Clearly he is one of the best hitting catchers in the league but what is it that sets him apart from the other guys? It’s the consistency. I hate when people bring up Joe Mauer. I am not trying to say he is a bad catcher—he is McCann’s biggest competition for the best catcher in baseball—but he is injured ALL the time.

Since 2006 McCann has 6 seasons of double digit homeruns, with the least being 18. Mauer on the other hand has had two. One of which was 13.

Brian McCann has 514 RBI’s since 2006 while Mauer has only 430.

Mauer does edge out McCann in runs (466 compared to 357) but let’s also remember that Mauer plays in the American League where he is able to get more at bats on nights off with the DH spot.

For every game Mauer plays he gets 4.302 at bats. For every game Brian McCann plays he gets 3.962 at bats. The difference may seem trivial but over a long period of time it adds up. If both players had played in 800 games since 2006 McCann would receive 272 less at bats. Just imagine the numbers Brian McCann would put up in the American League.

I think it’s safe to say McCann is just as good if not better, offensively than Joe Mauer. If Mauer wasn’t injured all the time it would be a different story but he is, so its not.

Another guy that irritates me is Buster Posey. I’d like to thank Chris Telford for having common sense on this one:

@telfo1: @JakeHumphrey91 Posey has literally only played a half good season in the majors. and that was pretty much just equal to Mac level.

Let’s not even get started on Buster Posey. For the two years he has been with the Giants he has put up these numbers:

  • 153 games
  • 628 plate appearances
  • 22 home runs
  • 88 RBI
  • 75 R
  • .295 AVG
  • .363 OBP
  • .447 SLG

That sounds a bit like McCann’s 2008 season to me. Oh, wait. McCann’s was better.

Rant over.

Topics: Atlanta Braves, Brian Mccann, Buster Posey, Joe Mauer

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  • aryanspecial

    Wow. I had to go look this up. McCann was 7th?? No wonder your buttons were pushed.
    The list was about best catchers RIGHT NOW. Even though I believe that Joe Mauer is an excellent offensive players, I do agree with you that he’s always hurt and might not even be catching at all by 2013. Napoli is a DH more than a catcher. And ALEX AVILA and CARLOS SANTANA over Brian McCann? What?
    They rank Posey more on his upside than anything. He is extremely talented and will probably be amongst the top 5 for sure for years to come. And Montero seems to get better and better. But I think there is no doubt that McCann is top 3 right now.

  • SavBravesFan

    I’ve always known they don’t give Mac his due. It’s exasperating. Just so long we can get him extended long-term w/o breaking the bank, then I’ll voice my frustrations. He’s worth as much, or more than Uggla in my view. 

  • http://www.sabbump.org/ clearwall

    No one ever considers ATL batters for anything, that’s why our All-Star selections consist of one offensive player and 4-5 pitchers. No doubt, Bmac is THE BEST CATCHER in all of baseball, but thanks to the DisnESPNABC Yankee/Red Sox loving machine, no one knows it.

  • leetro

    There are probably 6 or so guys who are projected to be as good as McCann this year.  My problem with the list is the lack of track record for many of the guys ahead of him.  Santana, Posey, Mauer, and Napoli could all be better offensively, but McCann’s consistency should be rewarded.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ CarlosCollazo

     @leetro Exactly. Consistency is the big thing with McCann. You know what you are going to get.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ CarlosCollazo

     @aryanspecial Most of the catchers they rank so high are based on 1 or 2 seasons. Those players are hardly a sure thing to continue. 

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