Dec 16, 2020

James McCaan: 2021 Mets Catcher

 James Thomas McCaan was born on June 13th 1990 in Santa Barbra, California. The six foot three catcher, was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox, but decided to go to the University of Arkansas instead. 

As a youth player, he was a team mate of the Mets Jeff McNeil.

College: He became the team captain for the Razorbacks & hit one of their most memorable HRs. It was a walk off to beat LSU at Baum Stadium. The next year he was a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award.  

He played for the 2011 US National team in the World Cup & PanAm Games. That year he was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the second round. He played four seasons in the Tigers minor leagues, getting a 2014 September call up, playing nine games.

He would be the Tigers starting catcher for the next four years. 

Trivia: In Spring Training of 2015, he gained some notoriety after he fouled off a ball that struck a bird sitting on the backstop screen.  

On April 15th, he hit his first career HR, it was an inside the parker at Target Field in Minnesota.
On May 21st, he hit his first HR over the fence, it was a walk off HR in a win over the Houston Astros. On June 28th, he hit another walk off HR, this one against the Chicago White Sox. Overall in 114 games, he batted .264 with 29 multi hit games, 7 HRs 18 doubles & 41 RBIs.

Defensively he set a modern day record by starting a career with most consecutive games, without committing an error. The streak of 136 games, went into May of 2016. He also threw out 41% of would be base stealers, earning him the name of "Macannon".

In 2016 his average fell to .221, but defensively he threw out 45% of would be base stealers (2nd in the AL) & turned a league leading nine double plays. He would come in second in throwing out base stealers for three straight years.

In 2017, he struggled at the plate, batting under .200 through the end of June. But he then batted near .400 in July, with a 14 game hit streak into August, driving in 11 runs. 

On July 2nd, he hit a HR & had a four RBI day in a Tigers losing effort. On July 30th, he had a three hit, three RBI day, hitting a HR in a 13-1 romp over the Astros. On August 12th, he hit a grand slam HR off Jose Berrois in a 12-11 win over the Minnesota Twins. That day he drove in five runs overall. 

He closed out the month with a three run HR in Colorado. That year he hit 13 HRs with 14
doubles & 49 RBIs while batting .253.

His numbers fell of in 2018 batting just .220 as his run production dropped as well. He was still strong behind the plate, catching 114 games. In December of 2018, McCann signed as a free agent with the Chicago White Sox.

He had a great start to his Sox career, batting .359 in hi the month of April. On April 22nd, he hit a three run HR at Baltimore, with a three hit four RBI day. In May he drove in six runs over a nine game span. In the last two weeks of June, he hit safely in ten of twelve games, with 15 hits, five multi hit games, bashing 5 HRs with13 RBIs.

2019 All Star: At the All Star break he was batting .316 with 9 HRs & 30 RBIs. In the All Star Game, played in Cleveland, he got one at bat, collecting a single off Brandon Woodruff in the 4-3 AL win.

In August he drove in 17 runs, which included three games where he had three RBIs or more. On August 16th, he a grand slam HR, leading his team to a 7-2 win over the Angels in Anaheim. 

On September 3rd, with the White
Sox down 5-2 in the top of the 8th inning, he tied up the game with a three run HR off Carlos Carrasco. On September 26th, he hit another three HR in an 8-0 win over the Indians. He finished the year with career bests in most categories, batting .273 with 120 hits, 26 doubles 18 HRs 30 walks & 60 RBIs. 

Behind the plate he turned 8 double plays (2nd in the AL) making 884 put outs (4th in the AL)  throwing out 17 would be base stealers (5th in the AL).

In the Covid 19 shortened 2020 season, he played in 31 games batting .289 with 7 HRs 3 doubles & 15 RBIs in 97 at bats. He began the season with HRs in first two games. On September 9th, he hit two HRs driving in 4 runs in an 8-1 win at Pittsburgh. 

He even closed out the season with a HR on the last day in a 9-5 win over his old White Sox team mates. He went 1-6 in the AL Wild Card series loss to Oakland.

In December of 2020 he signed on as a free agent with the New York Mets.

Family: James married his wife, Jessica in November 2014. They have a set of Twins & live in
Nashville, Tennessee.

Personal: McCaan & his wife are devout Christians. He does not drink alcohol, saying it's poison to an athletes body.

McCaan in an avid hunter & participates in an annual pre season duck hunt along the Mississippi flyway.

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