McCann is Yankees' biggest upgrade of offseason

Catcher's power, defense solidify a position that had been in flux for New York
02/14/2014 10:43 AM ET
By Doug Williams

Background: Brian McCann has been one of the most consistent catchers in the big leagues for the past nine years. He's hit 18 or more home runs in his last eight seasons and is a seven-time All Star. He's spent his entire career thus far with the Atlanta Braves, but signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the Yankees this offseason.

2013 Season: McCann struggled to stay healthy in 2013, but managed to still play in more than 100 games. He hit 20 home runs and drove in 57 runs, hitting .256. It was McCann's lowest production in a long time, but it was coming off of surgery for a torn labrum during the previous offseason. McCann was hot at the start of the season, but began to break down toward the end. The Yankees will hope that a normal offseason is exactly what he needs.

Greatest Strength: In Yankee Stadium, make no mistake about it, McCann's greatest strength will be his power hitting. His 162-game average during his career is 26 home runs, and the short porch in right should only increase his potential power.

Greatest Weakness: While he is known for calling a great game behind the plate, his biggest weakness is throwing out base stealers. He's averaged about 24 percent in terms of catching runners, which is consistently below average. He'll hope that the recovered shoulder can bolster his throwing strength in 2014.

Where He Will Hit: Look for McCann to hit fifth in the Yankee lineup. He'll be protected nicely there, hitting behind Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira and possibly in front of Alfonso Soriano.

Prediction: It will be a long, successful career for McCann in New York. In 2014, look for McCann to hit .275 with 28 HR and 85 RBIs. 

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