James McCann is leading the change in White Sox baseball perhaps more than any other player. This is why he is the First-Half MVP of the team.
From 2013 to 2018 the Chicago White Sox were a horrible baseball team. In fact, they were the worst in the league. They were even worse from 2013-2016 they were actually trying to win.
Suddenly this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. The White Sox are near .500 and no longer one of the worst teams in baseball. Where is the change coming from? There are many people on the White Sox roster that you could point to, but none are more important than James McCann.
The last time the White Sox weren’t terrible was 2012 when they had A.J. Pierzynski at catcher, their longtime guy there. Once he left, there was nobody good enough to replace him. With all the things a catcher does, some might say it is the most important everyday position.
After all these years they finally have someone good enough in all-star James McCann, who was the Sox first catcher to make an all-star team since Pierzynski did it in 2006. The White Sox got him from the Tigers and are paying him next to nothing.
Some might point to Lucas Giolito as the White Sox first-half MVP, as he leads the White Sox in WAR. But Giolito’s improvement likely wouldn’t have occurred to the degree that it has without McCann working with him and calling the game behind the plate.
McCann calls a good game behind the plate for the White Sox. He is excellent on defense, blocking balls and throwing out speedy runners. Perhaps most importantly, he’s a great pitch-framer, which is something the Sox have been missing. He can even hit well, finishing at .316 for the first half. He has a great attitude and he’s under contract for next year at a bargain price. There is no player more responsible for turning the White Sox into a real team than James McCann.