James McCann
James McCann
29-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
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the White Sox in December of 2018.
Receives breather Sunday
CChicago White Sox
September 29, 2019
McCann is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the tigers.
McCann worked as Chicago's primary backstop and will finish with 102 starts behind the plate this season since he's sitting Sunday. Zack Collins will catch the season finale for the White Sox.
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Batting Stats
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Since 2017vs Left .777 362 43 14 39 1 .259 .329 .448
Since 2017vs Right .671 962 89 25 109 4 .245 .295 .376
2019vs Left .864 137 21 4 17 1 .295 .372 .492
2019vs Right .759 339 41 14 43 3 .265 .311 .448
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
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
Since 2017Home .694 649 75 21 78 1 .240 .295 .399
Since 2017Away .705 675 57 18 70 4 .257 .313 .392
2019Home .739 234 30 8 24 1 .257 .308 .431
2019Away .837 242 32 10 36 3 .290 .349 .489
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
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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.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB Rate
K Rate
Exit Velocity
90.4 mph
Hard Hit Rate
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring James McCann
The Z Files: My Top 20 Catchers
15 days ago
Todd Zola offers his first set of catcher rankings and wonders how much of a discount the market will place on Salvador Perez after he missed all of 2019.
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36 days ago
Clay Link looks at appearances by position and makes note of multi-position eligibility and lost eligibility for 2020.
Regan's Rumblings: All Surprise Team
58 days ago
Dave Regan concludes the season with his list of players whom he didn’t expect to step up and make the significant contributions they have, including Twins catcher Mitch Garver.
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65 days ago
Adam Zdroik delivers his best picks for Tuesday’s DraftKings offering.
The Z Files: Ten More Late Season Darts
69 days ago
Todd Zola looks at some last-minute shopping options to boost your fantasy squad and thinks Zack Collins' plate discipline could be an asset down the stretch in formats that value OBP.
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
Cranks 18th homer
CChicago White Sox
September 26, 2019
McCann went 1-for-3 with a three-run home run and a walk in an 8-0 victory for the White Sox over the Indians on Thursday.
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Not in Wednesday's lineup
CChicago White Sox
September 25, 2019
McCann will sit Wednesday against Cleveland.
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Not in Wednesday's lineup
CChicago White Sox
September 18, 2019
McCann will be on the bench Wednesday in Minnesota.
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Goes deep in loss
CChicago White Sox
September 17, 2019
McCann went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Monday's 5-3 loss to the Twins.
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Heads to bench
CChicago White Sox
September 15, 2019
McCann is not in the lineup Sunday against Seattle.
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