Hats Off to Brian McCann – the BEST Catcher in the National League!

ATLANTA— With so much else to consume our attention this time of year, the baseball awards this offseason are taking too much of a back seat.  There were some great on-field achievements in 2008 and one of the best in the National League in my mind was the production of Braves catcher Brian McCann.   Hats off to Brian McCann for winning the 2008 Silver Slugger award for catchers!

Here’s a list of some of the more impressive achievements of Brian McCann this year:brian-mccann3

  1. Led all National League catchers with a .301 batting average, a .523 slugging percentage, and an .896 OPS.

  2. Went to his 3rd All-Star game in 3 full seasons in the majors, becoming only the seventh catcher in history to do so (joining an elite crowd of Walker Cooper, Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, Sandy Alomar, Pudge Rodriguez and Mike Piazza)

  3. On July 26, 2008, he became the third catcher in major league history to have at least two 20-homer seasons before the age of 25, joining catching greats Johnny Bench and Gary Carter.

  4. Won his second silver slugger in three seasons.

  5. Was seventh in the league in doubles with 42, which was only three off the all-time record for doubles by a catcher of 45, set by Ivan Rodriguez in 1996.

  6. Tied for the league lead among catchers with 23 homeruns.

His game still has some room for improvement.  He is not very strong at throwing out baserunners, for instance.  But his hitting and his ability to call a good game from behind the plate more than make up for his deficiencies. 

Brian McCann has stiff competition in the National League among catchers, particularly now with the emergence of Rookie of the Year Geovany Soto.  Nonetheless, for his consistent production through three and a half full seasons in the big leagues, I still consider Brian McCann to be the best catcher in the National League.

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One thought on “Hats Off to Brian McCann – the BEST Catcher in the National League!

  1. Best catcher in the majors mind you. When he was tops in a category, that top mark was best in the majors for his position…
    The kid is kicking ass and taking names. And he’s under contract for quite a bit longer.

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