Altanta Braves Positional Review/Preview: Catcher
Over the coming days I will write a short review about the performance the Braves received from different positions, as well as what to expect from the team in the future.
First Up, the Catchers
Starter: Brian McCann
McCann had one of the best seasons of any catcher in 2008. He produced a .301/.373/.523 line and added 23 HRs and 87 RBI. To put those numbers in perspective, out of all major league catcher who were qualified to contend for the batting crown, he was second in batting average and RBIs, tied for first in home runs, first in doubles, slugging percentage and surprisingly placed sixth in stolen bases. McCann put up all-star numbers, and solidified his place as one of the leagues premier backstops.
Corky Miller was unimpressive, hitting .152 in his 31 games, and was sent down to the minors toward the end of the year. Rookie Clint Sammons fared better, although he wasn't great. He hit .220 in limited playing time.
It's no doubt that McCann will be the starter for the Braves. He should again be able to once again put up all-star numbers for the Braves. Although its possible that the Braves could go out and sign a veteran backup catcher so that Sammons will get more playing time in the minors, I think that they will just allow Sammons to be the backup. Down on the farm, prospect Tyler Flowers has been tearing up the Arizona Fall League, and will look to build on his solid season in Myrtle Beach last year. He could be used as trade bait, or possibly be the catcher of the future after McCann or allowing McCann to move to first base.
Catcher will without a doubt be one of the strongest positions for the Braves in 2009.
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