James McCann
James McCann
28-Year-Old CatcherC
Chicago White Sox
2019 Fantasy Outlook
McCann was a power sleeper at a shallow position coming into 2018, but the power remained comatose and never woke up. He had a horrendous season at the plate after showing three years of steady power improvement from 2015 through 2017. The non-power part of his game is rather non-existent, as he hits for the type of low average you would expect from a slow-footed catcher. He is best utilized in a platoon where he can face lefty pitchers (.231/.275/.322 against RHP for his career). The Tigers declined to tender McCann an offer for arbitration and he ultimately landed with the White Sox on a one-year contract. Assuming his exposure is limited and he can just feast on lefties, McCann will at least have some appeal as an injury replacement in two-catcher formats. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the White Sox in December of 2018.
Signs with White Sox
CChicago White Sox
December 14, 2018
McCann agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the White Sox on Friday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports.
McCann will provide some additional catching depth on Chicago's roster behind Welington Castillo after the team traded away Omar Narvaez two weeks ago. During 118 games with the Tigers this past season, McCann hit just .220/.267/.314 with eight home runs and 39 RBI after having a solid season at the dish in 2017. The 28-year-old should only be considered as a fringe option in two-catcher leagues heading into spring training.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .770 358 35 19 48 0 .245 .310 .460
Since 2016vs Right .592 863 66 14 88 1 .225 .274 .317
2018vs Left .514 109 8 3 9 0 .176 .229 .284
2018vs Right .602 348 23 5 30 0 .234 .279 .323
2017vs Left .928 116 14 7 13 0 .298 .371 .558
2017vs Right .650 275 25 6 36 1 .234 .296 .355
2016vs Left .848 133 13 9 26 0 .258 .323 .525
2016vs Right .511 240 18 3 22 0 .201 .243 .268
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
Since 2016Home .656 596 62 20 78 0 .226 .278 .378
Since 2016Away .632 625 39 13 58 1 .235 .291 .341
2018Home .565 219 21 5 20 0 .201 .247 .319
2018Away .595 238 10 3 19 0 .238 .286 .309
2017Home .787 196 24 8 34 0 .264 .333 .454
2017Away .679 195 15 5 15 1 .242 .303 .376
2016Home .626 181 17 7 24 0 .218 .256 .371
2016Away .631 192 14 5 24 0 .224 .286 .345
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Stat Review
How does James McCann compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
BB Rate
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
McCann was a below-average major-league hitter last season, but he wasn't bad at all compared to his contemporaries at the catcher position. He lifted 13 home runs in 391 plate appearances, lending hope to the idea that he could get to 20 homers with a full season of regular playing time. McCann's 6.6 walk percentage leaves something to be desired, but he trimmed his strikeout rate from 2016 by nearly six percentage points to 22.8 percent and showed improvement against right-handed pitching (.234/.296/.355, up from .200/.236/.219 in 2016). The pitch-framing statistics are not kind to McCann, but he has a great arm and grades out well on defense. He should be the primary catcher on Opening Day, and he could hit as high as fifth or sixth in the Tigers' batting order.
2016 was a bit of a disappointment for McCann, who faced high expectations following a 2015 season where he hit .264 in 114 games with 18 doubles, seven home runs and 41 RBI for the Tigers. This past season, the 26-year-old slashed .221/.274/.358 with 12 home runs and 48 RBI. The home run increase was a positive, but it came at a cost, as his strikeout rate increased from 21.2 percent to 29.2 percent. McCann, who grades well as a defensive catcher by most criteria, threw out 45 percent of potential basestealers, up from 41 percent in 2015. Barring a free agent acquisition, he figures to enter 2017 as the Tigers' starting catcher, where he'll hope to add to his power increase with a rebound in average and contact rate.
McCann won the 2015 Tigers' Rookie of the Year Award from the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association on the back of an outstanding season behind the dish. He caught 112 error-free games to lead all MLB catchers and became only the sixth catcher on record to be error-free in over 100 games. On top of the flawless glove-work, he threw out 40.6 percent of American League base stealers. But McCann is more than just a defensive specialist -- he hit .264 with 18 doubles, five triples, seven home runs and 41 RBI with the Tigers last year. His leadership is off the charts, especially for a guy entering just his second season. McCann's power stroke will continue to grow and double-digit home runs will arrive sooner rather than later.
After showing growth at the Triple-A level last season, McCann was rewarded with a September promotion. The 2011 second-round pick made nine appearances for the Tigers in September, hitting .250 with one double and two runs scored in 12 at-bats. Despite the improvements at the dish at Triple-A, McCann’s calling card remains his solid defensive play. He has thrown out 39 percent of base stealers in his first three full seasons in the minors while doing a quality job running a pitching staff. Detroit has opted to bring back Alex Avila as their lead backstop, but McCann is expected to get the opportunity to challenge Bryan Holaday for the backup gig in 2015. Given Holaday’s lack or production at the plate the past two seasons, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see McCann work his way into the backstop mix for the Tigers this season, and his role could expand quickly if Avila continues to deal with minor injuries and long droughts at the dish.
The Tigers selected McCann with the 76th pick of the 2011 MLB Entry Draft. He profiles as a solid defensive player behind the plate, but he needs to improve at the plate before cracking any fantasy radars. The 21-year-old backstop hit just .146/.222/.250 in his first season of pro ball.
More Fantasy News
Expected to hit open market
CFree Agent
November 30, 2018
The Tigers will not tender McCann a contract for the 2019 season, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports.
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Not guaranteed to return in 2019
CDetroit Tigers
September 30, 2018
Tigers general manager Al Avila said McCann, who is arbitration-eligible this offseason, might not return to the Tigers in 2019, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.
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Out of Saturday's lineup
CDetroit Tigers
September 29, 2018
McCann is out of the lineup for Saturday's game against the Brewers, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports.
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Out of Thursday's lineup
CDetroit Tigers
September 27, 2018
McCann is not in the lineup versus Minnesota on Thursday.
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Drives in two against Twins
CDetroit Tigers
September 25, 2018
McCann went 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI in Tuesday's 4-2 win over the Twins.
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