Ask almost anyone what they think of Evan Gattis' season – especially someone who was high on him coming into the season – and you'll hear about how much of a disappointment he has been in 2015. Gattis has a .243 AVG, 22 HRs, and 69 RBIs through Wednesday. He ranks third among catchers and is basically having the same season as Brian McCann, who sits second to Buster Posey. Both Gattis and McCann have 22 HRs, Gattis has a .243 AVG with 69 RBIs and 53 R while McCann has a .245 AVG with 75 RBIs and 49 R.
Gattis has matched or tied his career-highs in the pertinent categories (save AVG where his best was last year's .263) and even though he has needed more time to do that (his 478 PA are 71 more than his previous high), he still has over a month to pad these numbers. And he pissed away a whole month with his wretched April (.164 AVG, 2 HRs). For him to be heading into September on pace for a 28/87 season at catcher can't be considered a disappointment.
Sure, the high end was looking at >30 HRs and maybe even 100 RBIs, but you can't just judge a guy completely against his perceived upside. His numbers are well within the range of reasonable outcomes and far from the low end. Baseball Prospectus does their percentile forecasts each year going from 10 to 90 and he is a few AVG points from being smack dab in the middle. His 50th percentile projection had a .252 AVG/28 HRs/84 RBIs. His 90th percentile agreed with those 30/100 zealots at .288/35/103.
I understood the excitement tied to Gattis coming into the year and actually shared in it with both him and others who would be like him: non-catching catchers. John Jaso was my favorite C2 target in leagues requiring a double backstop setup. Unfortunately he was hurt in the first game of the season which put that on hold for quite some time (he's been as expected since returning w/an .844 OPS in 132 PA). But just because there is a legitimate reason for excitement that a guy could reach his upper end, I still don't think it's fair to hold him to a standard he's never reached.
He wasn't going to be catching anymore which was great, but he was switching teams, leagues, and positions. Maybe it's not so surprising that he put together just a .485 in the season's first month. Here's the thing, I'm taking up for him pretty aggressively, but he doesn't need my backing as the numbers speak for themselves, especially if you lop off the April.
His numbers since May 1st have yielded a .258/.291/.497 line with 20 HRs and 60 RBIs which would reach that upper end of his projection with a full season of work at a 33/97 pace. Perhaps I'm just hung up on semantics here and the actual use of tabbing him as a disappointment. By any objective measure, his April was in fact a disappointment. My primary objection is anybody running over the laundry list of issues that kept them from a title and including Gattis.
"I really thought I had a shot this year, but you made me take Shane Greene, Drew Hutchison, and Jeff Samardzija, and then Gattis just killed my offense." No he didn't, stop saying that. It's unfair to even say he disappointed and he sure as hell didn't kill or ruin any offense. And sorry for those pitchers, I had them all in spades, too.
Gattis is having a damn good season that could wind up as high as second-best at the position (can't see a scenario where he catches Posey) and no worse than top 5 even if he flops in September. He was drafted at the fifth catcher off the board in leagues where Carlos Santana qualifies (Yahoo!) and fourth where he doesn't going on average as the 85th player off the board. CBS had him up all the way at 48th per Fantasy Pros, but I believe a lot of that is the difference in base setup where they use two catchers to everyone else's one.