Every week until the regular season starts I will be making a case for why various players on the Braves roster are the best candidate to take over Chipper Jones’ role as the face of the franchise. Last week I talked about Jason Heyward’s candidacy. Now we’ll go behind the plate and consider…
#16 Brian McCann C
Unfortunately for both McCann and the Braves, he is still battling a shoulder injury and is expected to be missing until mid April. Although his bat is a crucial part of the lineup, they will have to go on without it for a few weeks to make sure no further damage is done. McCann has the most home runs and RBIs by any catcher since 2006, so the Braves will want to make sure he is completely ready to come back. Because McCann is involved in every play it is much more important that he is able to come back on the field and be a leader behind the plate. He is a veteran who has been in Atlanta for his entire 8 year career. The only other active player that has been on the Braves as long as McCann is Tim Hudson, so he has gone through more with this team than anyone else on the field. He knows everything about the team, and is a fan favorite among Braves fans.
It is McCann’s leadership skills and long tenure with the team that made Chipper Jones pick him as his favorite to replace him after asked that question by reporters. The only thing McCann has going against him is that he is currently in the final year of his contract. If he does not return to the Braves he can’t very well be the new face of the franchise. I can’t imagine seeing the Braves letting someone like him test the market, so hopefully this becomes a non-issue.
Is Brian McCann a good fit as the face of the franchise? And more importantly, is it vital for the Braves to re-sign him?
Next week I’ll talk about the first big name signing the Braves made this year; B. J. Upton.