Did Braves catcher Brian McCann have an off-year in 2007? His average was down, his strikeouts were up, his walks were down, his power was down - it sure seemed like an off-year. Of course, with only one other full season to compare it to we don't really know what kind of major league hitter McCann will be. The silver linings to his 2007 season were that his RBI total was just about the same, he played in nine more games than he did in 2006, and while his homerun output was down he did add more doubles.
There's also the factor of the injuries, which are always a concern with catchers and seem like they will be a cause for continued concern for McCann. He injured his finger in early May, and then injured his ankle in early June, an injury that would reappear several times, and then to top it off his injured his right knee the following month. He didn't spend any time on the disabled list like he did when he injured his ankle in 2006, but the small nagging injuries may have taken their toll on the consistency of our young backstop.
Indeed once McCann finally got healthy in late July and August, his average rebounded and his power returned, but not quite to the level he had sustained the previous season. The real question is whether Brian McCann is the type of hitter he showed he could be in 2006 or the hitter he was in 2007? According to PECOTA's 2007 forecast, McCann fell into about the 25th percentile of what his statistical projections said he would do.
Brian McCann's Career Stats:
My take on McCann is that he'll put up numbers somewhere between what he did in 2006 and 2007, but they will be closer to his numbers last year. I give him a chance to get back over the 20 homerun mark, and in a batting order that includes a full year of Mark Teixeira I can see Heap going over the 100 RBI mark for the first time. Here's what I think his key stats will look like in 2008 assuming he's relatively healthy:
.302/.338/.489 with 22 HR, 104 RBI, 38 BB, and 68 SO.
I don't think his average will drop below the .270 he put up last year, especially if he stays healthy, but I don't know if he can repeat the .333 average he put up in 2006. In the comments section tell us the line you think Heap will post this year.