Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Previewing the 2018 lineup

mgilpatrick
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 17: Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers as he crosses the plate in front of catcher Rob Brantly #44 of the Chicago White Sox after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning at Comerica Park on September 17, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 17: Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates with Jeimer Candelario #46 of the Detroit Tigers as he crosses the plate in front of catcher Rob Brantly #44 of the Chicago White Sox after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning at Comerica Park on September 17, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 1: James McCann #34 of the Detroit Tigers singles against the Cleveland Indians during the fifth inning of game one of a doubleheader at Comerica Park on September 1, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. The Indians defeated the Tigers 3-2. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 1: James McCann #34 of the Detroit Tigers singles against the Cleveland Indians during the fifth inning of game one of a doubleheader at Comerica Park on September 1, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. The Indians defeated the Tigers 3-2. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Batting Seventh: Catcher James McCann

The Detroit Tigers catcher is known more for defense than hitting. He’s not bad at either. And while his OPS is in the bottom three for the team, he’s still better than the final two in the order.

James McCann makes sense batting seventh. He had the bulk of starts at this position in the order. And had his best production there. McCann hit .307 with power in 44 games batting seventh, and there’s no reason he can’t do the same this year.

it’s better than what he did overall last season. With all batting spots included, McCann hit .253/.318/.733. He was significantly better in the second half in 2017, increasing his batting average 90 points, and his OPS 61.

This season, McCann is projected to drop off slightly. He’s projected to hit .249/.305/.703.

McCann will likely hit better than this. Like Mikie Mahtook, McCann can be inconsistent at the plate. He went from hitting .161 in May 2017 to .396. He finished the season hitting over ten RBIs per month in July and August.

Also like Mahtook, his final line will depend on longer, and more frequent hot streaks.

Behind the plate, however, McCann is more consistent.

He’s a defensive catcher. He only committed two errors in 836.1 innings at catcher, and caught 30 percent of stolen base attempts.

Though McCann is the best catcher on the team, he won’t play every day. Catching is the toughest position. John Hicks will get the occasional start.

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