Yankees News: It’s Time for Brian McCann to Earn His Money


When any player signs a five-year, $85 million contract they are expected to provide an immediate impact. The New York Yankees were in need of a catcher, and they had the perfect fit for them in Brian McCann.

A left-handed hitter who hit 18+ home runs in eight straight seasons for the Braves, who could easily hit 30 home runs being a Yankee. However, McCann never seemed comfortable at the plate in his first season with the Yankees.

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McCann finished the year off with a solid 23 home runs, his seventh straight season with 20+ home runs. His average ended up being .232, but it can improve greatly if he focuses on pulling the ball a little less in order to avoid when teams put the shift on him.

The 75 RBIs are solid, but more is expected from a player earning an average of $17 million a year.

What could help McCann coming into the 2015 season would be for him to have a hot start to the season. When he evaluated the first half of the season last year, he had one simple answer: “horrible” is what he told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.

In the first half of the season, he hit .239 with 10 home runs and 39 RBIs. 10 home runs in 305 at-bats is not acceptable for a player of his stature. The good news is the pop in his bat woke up for the second half of the season.

In 190 at-bats, McCann launched 13 home runs. His home runs per at-bat went from 1 HR per 30.5 AB to 1 HR per 14.6 AB. In September, McCann belted eight home runs and drove in 18 runs to finish off his season.

"“I think McCann came on strong for us in the second half, and I think next year we’ll have a full season of what we expected from him,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “It’s important. Bottom line, it’s important. We need to be a better offensive club than we were last year.”"

(h/t, Bryan Hoch, MLB.com)

It took awhile for McCann to get his feel at the plate, but in the second half of the season there was a noticeable difference. “I started to get more comfortable at the plate, at home,” McCann said in September.

"“I found out how they were pitching me a little bit different. Going into the offseason, I’m going to work hard and come back next year better.”"

These are promising words for Yankees fans to hear. McCann must focus on hitting pitches down in the zone as well as hitting it all over the field. He is a natural leader, and the Yankees need a new one now that Derek Jeter has retired. Hopefully McCann will lead by example on and off the field, propelling the New York Yankees towards a playoff run.

Next: Yankees Catchers Of The Future

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