The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

FanGraphs: Brian McCann Probably Couldn’t Be Given Away For Free

Well, there’s a few things. First, here’s an incredibly depressing list of numbers:

13.1 — 10.8 — 9.0 — 9.7 — 6.4

You don’t know what those are. I’ll tell you what they are. They’re McCann’s walk rate, declining pretty steadily from 2010 until now, where it’s less than half what it was, and this is sort of the thing: McCann’s lousy year isn’t any one thing. It’s a few small things, adding up. Giving back 30 or so free trips to first base isn’t fatal by itself, but it certainly isn’t helping. It’s not why his batting average is lousy, obviously; it is a part of why his OBP is below .300.

There’s also this: McCann’s power, which everyone figured would translate well to the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium, hasn’t come with him. It’s actually less that he’s failed to take advantage of right field in the Bronx, and more that it’s been the only thing making his homer totals look even respectable.

It seems like almost any free agent contract seems like a bad one as soon as it’s signed.  I doubt anyone would trade for the Robinson Cano contract as well as he’s played this year, for example.

In the non-injury division, McCann is probably the biggest disappointment on this year’s Yankees team, at least for me.  I liked his signing, figured a year removed from shoulder surgery he’d hit better than he did in 2013 and also figured it was a massive upgrade over what the Yankees got out of catcher in 2013.  I didn’t expect Beltran to do much this year or over the life of his contract, and as much crap as I give the Ellsbury signing he’s been the Yankees’ second best position player this year.  Granted, that’s sort of like being the best-groomed Red Sock or the healthiest member of the Yankees rotation, but he hasn’t been a problem.  He’s been an asset, albeit an overpaid one.

CAIRO had McCann pegged at around 3 WAR, without incorporating pitch framing where he has rated well again this year.  Instead he’s a bit over 1 WAR and not likely to get much past that at this point.

I’d like to think he’ll be better next year, but I wouldn’t bet a penny on it.

It’s particularly frustrating given the fact that the Yankees have organizational depth at catcher and could’ve potentially used the money spent on McCann elsewhere.  But what’s done is done, and now I’ll just hope he hits well over the rest of the season and gives us some reason to think 2015 will be better.

--Posted at 6:41 pm by SG / 24 Comments | - (0)


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