Brian McCann has played a total of 50 games as a New York Yankee. He has been at bat 179 times this season with 41 hits, 7 homers and 24 RBIs. I would say his first two months as a Yankee have been below average for him, especially offensively.
Every athlete has their slumps in their sports, and it’s how they overcome the slump that really speaks to their character and athleticism. McCann admits that he hasn’t been happy with his hitting so far this season.
“I feel like I need to get more hits,” McCann said. “I just feel like I’ve been finding the barrel consistently. It’s just I need to start hitting a little better.”
Well, it’s good he recognizes it. Now it’s time to turn things around for the next part of the season. McCann was drafted by the Yankees as a free agent from the Atlanta Braves in the winter of 2013, with a $12 million salary. By signing McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran in the winter, the Yankees lost their first round picks and compensation round picks in the upcoming draft on June 5th.
McCann was being counted on to provide the Yankees lineup with some much-needed offense from the catcher’s spot. However, throughout the first 53 games of the season, that had not been the case. McCann had hit seven home runs and driven in 23. He entered Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Twins with a meager .225 batting average. But on that rainy Saturday afternoon game, McCann might have finally had his Yankee moment. With the Yankees and Twins tied 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, it was McCann who finally came through to break the tie. He stroked a one-out double down the right field line to score Jacoby Ellsbury and give the Yankees an eventual 3-1 win. It was his second double of the day.
I think that athletes tend to be hard on themselves especially when trying to live up to expectations. But as an athlete myself, I found that letting go of the pressure surrounding you, and continuing to believe that you are good enough, can lead to great things. As for Brian McCann, I think he might be getting out of this slump unexpectedly. Even Yankees manager Joe Girardi has faith in him and doesn’t seem worried about McCann’s offensive performances.
“I think he’s handled it really well,”Girardi said. “I think he’s been able to put the day behind him and just move on to the next day. I think when you look at his numbers, I think he’s hit the ball a lot harder than his numbers indicate and that can be extremely frustrating for a player, but I think he’s handled that pretty well.”
A boost of optimism and more focus on improving his hitting is all McCann needs to turn his first season as a Yankee around. After his breakthrough moment on Saturday, we can see he has the talent, now he just needs to continue using it. I think McCann is going to be a player to look out for during his Yankee career. I think he has a lot of potential to be a huge asset to this team and I’m excited to see how the rest of his season turns out for him.
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