A fan favorite in Atlanta, McCann will face his former team for the first time in an Astros uniform.
Growing up 73 miles from Atlanta, catcher Brian McCann was destined to be a star for his hometown Braves. Now, in the midst of his 13th season in the major leagues, McCann will face his former team for the first time since August 28th, 2015 on May 9th as a member of the Houston Astros.
Drafted by the Braves in the second round of the 2002 Draft, McCann’s tenure in Atlanta was filled with accolades and accomplishments. In nine seasons, he was a six-time All-Star and a five-time Silver Slugger award winner.
In the middle of a lineup that had names such as Andruw Jones, Jason Heyward and Chipper Jones, McCann was consistently one of the best offensive players behind the plate in the National League, hitting 176 home runs while driving in 661 RBIs. While being a power threat in the middle of the order, McCann thrived on contact, never eclipsing 100 strikeouts and hitting .277 in his nine seasons.
After three seasons as a member of the New York Yankees, McCann has been good offensively in his first season in an Astros uniform. He is hitting .294, his highest batting average since 2008, with a .878 OPS. Also, in his 101 at-bats, McCann his five home runs and has driven in 18 RBIs.
With being in the American League for the past four seasons, McCann has not had many opportunities to face his original club.
He has only played against the Braves three times. In a three-game set in Atlanta at the end of the 2015 season, he had three hits in 10 at bats with a home run and a double. He drove in seven RBIs in the series, scoring five times himself.
However, the Astros are just glad that McCann will be in an Astros uniform when the Braves come to town. In his nine years in Atlanta, he was an offensive juggernaut, hitting .273 with eight home runs and driving in 26 RBIs against the Astros.
The Astros knew who they were getting when they acquired McCann in the offseason for prospects Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman: an offensive minded catcher with a veteran approach behind the plate who would be a nice compliment to part-time catcher Even Gattis. Now, after a month, the Astros have one of their best catching duos statistically in the club’s history.
As far as the rest of the season goes, McCann’s goal is to further his playoff experience. With only 13 playoff games under his belt, including three against the Astros in the 2005 NLDS, the 33-year-old catcher has never made the Championship Series.
With his veteran leadership behind the plate and his offensive ability at the plate, McCann will continue to be a part of the Astros deep lineup. As for this upcoming series against his former team, it will give him a chance to look back at his successes, but also look to the future at what is to come.
**Statistics courtesy of MLB.com, Baseball Reference and FanGraphs**