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Entries in Brian McCann (5)


McCann's Slower Bat

Brian McCann of the Atlanta Braves came back from an injury on August 14th, and but his offense has not recovered.  His .174/.296/.347 slash line stands as one of the reasons the Braves have slid to a one-game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Wild Card race.    McCann injured his left oblique muscle, and it appears the injury hurt his swing.


McCann 2011Pre-InjuryPost-Injury
Swing Pct. 45.2 44.7
Miss Pct. 17.7 23.6


McCann is swinging about the same amount, but missing much more.  That's puts him a hole more often, which makes Brian even more vulnerable.  The numbers say to me that his bat speed hasn't returned.  He's timing pitches like he was healthy, but he just can get to them as quickly as he did before.

You can see this graphically in his contact rate:

Brian McCann, contact rate, 2011 season pre-injury.McCann covered the plate well before the injury.

Brian McCann, contact rate, 2011 season post-injury.McCann can't handle high pitches, where a hitters bat needs to be quicker, and he also has problems with the outside half of the strike zone.  He may not get his timing  back until he has time to heal fully this off-season.


"Old Player Skills"

Matt Klaassen over at recently looked at which players under the age of 27 in 2010 displayed "old player skills"; that is, players who tend to have high walk and power numbers, with low speed and batting average. Any player in the top 25% of walk rate, a speed score in the bottom 25 percent, ISO in the top half, and batting average in the lowest half made the cut. He found only three players in 2010: Prince Fielder, Brian McCann, and Ike Davis.

The first name that popped into my head when reading the article was Geovany Soto. Given that he turned 27 last year, he missed Klaassen’s cut for the study. However, his walk rate (16.0%), Speed Score (1.1), and ISO (.217) all put him in range of that "old player skill" category. His .280 batting average was a touch high, but not enough to totally disqualify him from consideration.

All three of Klaassen’s 2010 old skill players (and Soto) had below league average contact ratings last year as well. I’m not sure a low contact percentage fits the mold for "old player skills." However, older hitters, specifically power hitters, do tend to lose some quickness in their swing; this can certainly lead to more missed balls. And there is some evidence that players with power swings that hit for low average (like Adam Dunn) tend to have lower contact percentages.
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