James McCann was a great player yet again for the Chicago White Sox.
The Chicago White Sox made a brilliant decision two years ago when they brought in James McCann to be one of their catchers. He quickly formed into an All-Star caliber player once he got to the South Side. He has been so good on both sides of the field and White Sox fans have appreciated it. The 2020 season was tough on a lot of people but McCann was able to put his best foot forward and play some fantastic baseball.
Things were different for McCann this season as he went in as a backup catcher, despite being an All-Star. The White Sox signed Yasmani Grandal to a long-term contract last summer so that was clearly going to take some playing time away from McCann. Instead of complaining or anything like that, he made the very best of his situation in 2020 and was brilliant.
Grandal and McCann formed the best catching duo in all of baseball for a lot of reasons. For one, they are both fantastic hitters. They both are also elite defensive catchers, as shown by the fact that they were both nominated for a Gold Glove Award. McCann was able to be a designated hitter on certain occasions as well which really helped the White Sox out. They managed to get both players at-bats as much as they could and were rewarded for it a lot.
McCann’s offensive numbers in 2019 had a lot of people wondering if he was a one-hit-wonder. Well, in 2020 he proved that wasn’t the case. He had a .289/.360/.536 slash line with 8 home runs with an OPS of .896. He hit 8 home runs, had 15 RBIs, and had 20 runs scored in 111 plate appearances. Those are fantastic numbers for a catcher getting secondary playing time during a 60 game season.
McCann has been nothing short of awesome for the White Sox. He would be the true number one guy on 98 percent of the teams. The offensive numbers show that he is one of the best hitting catchers in the sport which pairs well with his fantastic defense.
Final Grade: A
James McCann is an A player. He deserves every ounce of respect that can be given to a player. He really helped this team turn the corner as a rebuilding organization. His numbers in 2020 earned him this grade and it is going to earn him a nice contract in 2021 and beyond.
It doesn’t feel like he is going to be back with the White Sox. They have a lot invested in Yasmani Grandal who could be the best catcher in baseball during any given year. It isn’t fun because McCann is such a sweet player to have on the team you cheer for. There are going to be a lot of teams that offer him a lot of money.
The White Sox aren’t out on him just yet, however. They are going to certainly try and retain him. If they were to try and convince him, they would certainly use the success he had and opportunities they can offer as a way to try and get him to agree.
He could catch when Lucas Giolito is pitching and every third start which is a decent amount of time. He can also be the designated hitter whenever Grandal is behind the plate which would help the White Sox DH problem. The White Sox are also so close to being good which might make it enticing. Either way, he is going to be handsomely paid on a good team in 2021.