Atlanta Braves Mid-Season Grades: Catchers

Brett KettyleCorrespondent IJuly 13, 2009

DENVER - JULY 11:  Brian McCann #16 of the Atlanta Braves watches what would become the game winning sacrifice fly that scored Nate McLouth against the Colorado Rockies in the seventh inning during MLB action at Coors Field on July 11, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Braves defeated the Rockies 4-3.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

It’s the unofficial halfway point in the baseball season, and most teams are deciding whether or not they have what it takes to make a run at the postseason before the trade deadline at the end of the month.

The Braves are currently standing at 43-45, 6 games back of the division-leading Phillies.

To start this first half review, I will look at the performance the Braves received from the catchers on the season. All stat lines will be AVG/OBP/SLG/HR/RBI/SB


Starting Catcher: Brian McCann: .298/.375/.487/8/37/3

Despite struggling with vision problems early in the season, McCann has continued to produce at an all-star level, and remains the top offensive catcher in the National League.

McCann leads regular NL starting catchers in all the ratios, is second in RBI, tied for third in homeruns and is surprisingly also tied for third in stolen bases.

While his offensive numbers were expected, McCann has also improved his defense, raising his caught stealing percentage to a career high .264 (which isn’t great, but is an improvement).

Mid-Season Grade: A

Backup Catcher(s):
David Ross: .278/.375/.533/6/15/0, and Clint Sammons

Ross was signed as a backup in the offseason, and has been one of the biggest surprises off the Braves' bench. Ross has hit a respectable .278 and added 6 homers, while getting some starts when McCann was dealing with his vision problems.

Ross’ 6 homeruns put him fourth on the team, which is surprising as he has less than 100 at-bats on the season. If the Braves are unable to acquire a big bat, one solution that could add more power to the Braves lineup would be if Ross could play first base a couple of times a week.

Ross’ biggest asset has been his defense. He has thrown out 14 of 30 would-be base-stealers, which gives him the best percentage among NL catchers with at least 30 attempts.

Sammons only played in a couple of games in the majors, going 1-5 with a walk in three games.

Mid-Season Grade: A+