May 15, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Atlanta Braves catcher Evan Gattis against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Gattis aka El Oso Blanco, Atlanta Braves Catcher Takes Batting Practice VIDEO


Atlanta Braves catcher, Evan Gattis, has a tremendous and moving story.  From been so depressed that he thought about killing himself, working odd jobs, to making a name for himself in the Winter Leagues in 2012, then being an invite to the 2013 spring training, making the Atlanta Braves, having a great year and now the 2014 starting catcher.

Atlanta Braves catcher Evan Gattis at bat against the Detroit Tigers at ESPN Disney Wide World of Sports complex, Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If you haven’t heard or read about his path, it’s a must.  Years down the road, we’ll probably be watching this in the theaters.

As he emerged in 2013 as a household name, James Evan Gattis had a slash line of .243/.291/.480 with 21 home runs, 21 doubles, 65 RBIs, 44 runs and 21 walks.  For being a 26-year-old rookie those numbers look pretty impressive and at times were very exciting for fans but should we expect numbers better than this in 2014?

Drafted by the Braves in the 23rd round of the 2010 amateur draft, Gattis began in Rookie ball with the Danville Braves with a line of .288/.339/.387 with four home runs, 10 doubles and 29 RBIs in 60 games played.

2011, Gattis was called up to Single A Rome and had the line of .322/.386/.601!  Now those are some numbers.  He had 22 home runs, 24 doubles and 71 RBIs in 88 games.

2012, he played for the Single A+ Lynchburg and Double A Mississippi Braves with a combined line .305/.389/.607 with 18 home runs, 20 doubles and 67 RBIs in 74 games played.

Are you seeing a reoccurring theme?

Homers, doubles and RBIs is this guys middle name!

May 15, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Atlanta Braves catcher Evan Gattis against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Projections are projections and it seems like these days every page has them.  XN Sports has just released their updated catcher projections.  Gattis is ranked 8th on the list behind Buster Posey, Carlos Santana, Wilin Rosario, Yadier Molina, Joe Mauer, Brian McCann and Jonathan Lucroy.

They are projecting his stats to be .253 batting average, 25 home runs,74 RBIs and 52 runs.

Our own Fansided Fantasy Baseball Cracker Jacks just released their top 251 players with Gattis being ranked 110 with a slash line of .260 batting average, 21 home runs and 62 RBIs.

ESPN ranked Evan 140th with .259, 22 home runs and 70 RBIs.

Gattis could be an easy pick to be a 2014 “bust player” – lifted from SI.com‘s player rankings…

With Brian McCann suiting up in Bronx pinstripes this season, Gattis will get full-time at-bats mostly at the catcher position in his sophomore season. As we mentioned previously, more defensive duty comes along with the full-time job behind the plate, but the Braves are confident Gattis can do it, while still keeping his power numbers up. As the 2013 season wore on, however, pitchers started to get a book on Gattis, and his HR-to-flyball split was cut more than half from the first half (23 percent) to the second half (11 percent) of the season. While you shouldn’t avoid Gattis at all costs, you’re most likely not going to get him where you want him — which is outside of the top 12 catchers.

Personally, I see his batting average to be slightly higher than that.  Possibly in the .260-.280 range with 25-30 home runs.

One stat no one is talking about is the one that El Oso Blanco IS talking about – Stolen bases

 

With a lot of buzz already coming out from Disney that Gattis is continuing to hit the cover off the ball, I’m thinking we have something special in this guy.

I had the chance to watch this mammoth of a guy during on field batting practice last week while I attended practice.  The videos aren’t the best quality but hey, you get to watch this guy take a couple hacks.

Evan Gattis Taking On Field Batting Practice from Tomahawk Take on Vimeo.

Evan Gattis Taking On Field Batting Practice2 from Tomahawk Take on Vimeo.

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