The catching position is, in my opinion, one of most underrated aspects of sports. Not only do these athletes have the same responsibility as every other player in baseball at the plate, but they also have to call pitches and scout the opposition’s hitters as much as any pitcher.
The Braves are lucky enough to have the best catcher in the game right now as well as one of the game’s best backups. So, we will now take a closer look at these two Braves players: Brian McCann and David Ross.
2011 Stats: .310/.381/.514, 15 HR, 50 RBI, .894 OPS, .383 wOBA, 3.4 WAR
Those numbers are outstanding for any position, but when you add that BMac is a catcher and he really starts to stand out. At this point, I think McCann is not only the Most Valuable Player for the Braves, but also may be for the entire National League.
He won’t put up the stats that pop enough to win, but no one can deny the impact that McCann has had on the Braves this season. He’s been the only true consistent and productive player for the offense and he has largely carried them thus far in the season.
Not only has been so good at the plate, but he also mostly calls pitches for the pitching staff with the second lowest ERA in all of baseball at 3.11. Not too shabby at all.
If McCann keeps up hit hitting for the second half, he will easily win his fifth Silver Slugger Award, and fourth in a row, and just might get himself some MVP contention. At just 27 years old, McCann may have a lot more ahead of him.
2. David Ross
2011 Stats: .297/.366/.516, 4 HR, 14 RBI, .882 OPS, .379 wOBA, 0.9 WAR
For a backup catcher that has played in just 22 games this season, those numbers are pretty good to say the least. Ross at one point was hitting so well that some fans wanted him to try out some other positions.
That may not be the best idea, but as a backup catcher it’s hard to beat what Ross has done as well as what he brings. At 34 years old, Ross has been around the block. While he’s never been known as a great player or catcher, he has always been serviceable when starting and is as good a backup catcher as you will find.
Having Ross remain healthy and continuing to hit this well gives the team confidence that we won’t lose too much whenever McCann needs a day off. As far as that goes, Ross is doing more than any of us could have asked from him.