Sep 28, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Evan Gattis (24) this a single against the Philadelphia Phillies in the eighth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Evan Gattis

                We’ll see a lot of this from Evan Gattis next season

 

With the departure of Brian McCann, Evan Gattis is now likely to be the main starter at C in 2014. While he may end up splitting time with Gerald Laird, and possibly Christian Bethancourt, as of today, it is not unreasonable to expect Gattis to make nearly 100 starts in 2014. He showed some promise in his playing time in 2013, especially from September into the playoffs. So, what can we reasonably expect in 2014?

Steamer Projections are very optimistic on him, expecting him to be even more valuable than Brian McCann was in 2013. He’s projected for a 4-win season, hitting 25 HRs, and hitting .256/.309/.470 in 130 games. 1.1 of his wins value is expected to come defensively. I doubt this will happen, as I’m not certain he’s better than McCann, who hadn’t posted such high a value since 2010 (when he played in 143 games). Steamer is usually on the high side when it comes to these projections, so I think one should temper their expectations for Evan Gattis. While he certainly has the tools to be a special player, I don’t think that he is THAT good at this point.

Evan played in a career high in his professional career, with 105 games played in last season, and 90 starts (and only 39 games as catcher). To expect him to increase that amount by nearly 150% is a bit absurd.  However, getting 100 starts at catcher out of Gattis is not entirely unreasonable. Using 105 games as an expected total for Gattis, we can expect to see him hit about 23 HRs, and contribute 70 RBIs. It’s likely that Gattis will hit 4th or 5th in the lineup next season if he performs well, so these numbers would be quite welcome there. With expected improvement from BJ, Heyward, Simmons, and whoever plays at 2B, whatever we can get from Gattis should be extra gravy for the offense.

Are you a believer in Gattis? Answer the poll below on what you expect to see from Evan Gattis in 2014.

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