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MLB Draft 2011 Prospect Profile: James McCann, C, Arkansas


Are you ready for another catcher?  No?  Why not?  Catcher has almost turned into a position of strength in the system with several prospects having promise either offensively or defensively, but with the wear and tear of the position, you can never have too many in your system.  James McCann is a college catcher who projects to be average to slightly above average behind the plate in the professional level.  That fact right there is enough to attract many teams. 

Offensively, he's not quite as impressive.  He doesn't have a whole lot of tools there because his bat speed is merely average.  Although, he's able to hit for good power despite the lack of bat speed.  He could get close to twenty home runs in a season and that is good for a catcher.


Because he is advanced defensively, his floor is quite high.  He's not plus back there but with some power in his swing, he could advance fairly quickly and end up being a back-up for a few years.  There is always room on a big league roster for a solid defensive catcher with a little pop.


No, he doesn't have a huge ceiling with question marks surrounding his ability to hit for average.  But, not every catcher has to be Joe Mauer.  His ceiling is that of an all-star catcher a couple times in his career if he can provide above average defense and 20-25 bombs a year.  The average may not get much higher than .280 but that is a very solid catcher you can stick in your line-up and call it a hole.

Will the Astros pick him? If so, where?

McCann is attractive to many teams because of his defense but the question marks around his bat will probably keep him out of the first round or supplemental round.  He is probably going to be very similar to Ben Heath but with better defense, so you know Heck probably has him on his radar.  In this draft, Heck will probably have him on his long list of potential second or third rounders.

Where is he projected to go right now?

He isn't projected to go in the first.

Bibliography (Scouting Reports and Video)

After the jump

Keith Law says:

Behind the plate McCann has average or slightly above-average tools across the board, with good hands and footwork and some arm strength, and he has a good build for the position. As a hitter, his hips tend to leak (meaning they move forward, toward the pitcher, too early, shifting his weight before he's really begun his swing) and he only has average bat speed. There's some rotation in his swing and he projects to have 15-20 home run power, but has struggled to even hit .300 this year against college pitching.