Alex Brandon/Associated Press
El Oso Blanco has been one of the best offensive catchers in baseball this season. He leads all major league catchers in home runs (16) and is second in FanGraphs WAR (fWAR) at 2.6. He’s also tied for the Braves’ team lead in home runs and second in fWAR.
So far, the loss of longtime Braves catcher Brian McCann, who has only been worth 0.7 fWAR for the Yankees, has not hurt Atlanta.
This season Gattis has posted a slash line of .292/.345/.562, with his best work coming in June. This month he’s gunning for NL Player of the Month, with a slash line of .363/.414/.650. That includes a 20-game hitting streak that lasted most of June.
It’s hard to believe that Gattis can continue the torrid pace he’s been on this past month, but with the confidence he’s gained by successfully becoming an everyday major league catcher, there’s reason to think that at least some of this elite offensive production is here to stay.
It’s easy to be optimistic about a second-half prediction for fan-favorite Gattis, but he’s still squatting behind the plate every four out of five days during the dog days of summer. That will take a toll on Gattis in his first full season as a catcher, and that could slow him at the plate.
It’s reasonable to expect Gattis to slip just a bit from where he is now but still exceed last year’s slash line of .243/.291/.480. My prediction is that Gattis’ second-half slash line will look similar to his first-half slash line, but with a little less power.
My second-half prediction for Gattis: .290/.350/.500.