Patience is a Virtue….Sometimes!
Despite this, these current numbers that he is putting up should not be anything to sneeze at. Especially, when you consider that the burly slugger has become a far more patient hitter the longer that he has been in this league.
For further context, 2017 has been Evan Gattis’ best start since his rookie campaign with the Atlanta Braves back in 2013. In that season, he went 11 for his first 34 at bats, and had 3 more long balls at that particular point. It is as if the bear is regressing back to the rookie numbers that has made him the offensive presence over the years!
In contrast, he only had 4 walks and 7 strikeouts across that same span. That script has been flipped on its side, now that he has 7 walks and only 4 strikeouts so far in 2017.
Brian McTaggart of MLB.com wrote a piece about the new contact and patience approach from Gattis. This came shortly after he drew a walk-off walk to help the team avoid an at-home sweep by the Kansas City Royals.
Now, one would think that this increased discipline, patience and maturity in the batter’s box would warrant the bear more starting time. But alas, this has yet to come to fruition.
The Glove Can Use Some Work
Admittedly, Brian McCann is the superior defensive option for catcher. Not to mention, BMac also has had a pretty stellar bat himself. So far in 2017, he has slashed .313/.414/.458/.872 in 14 games and 58 plate appearances.
The tandem of McCann and Gattis is something I’ve analyzed many times. Including, my assessment back in February months after the acquisition of BMac and right before Spring Training began. When both of your catchers are currently hitting above the .280 mark, AND providing solid average to above average defense, it’s a rare treat indeed!
Evan Gattis made great strides last year behind the plate, defensively. Most notably, when it came to throwing out any potential base thieves. A caught stealing (CS) ratio of 46% was among the top 5 in catching in 2016.
However, in 2017 so far, Gattis already has a passed ball and, not one but two, catcher’s interference calls. A little nerve wrecking? Perhaps, but not something worth hitting the panic button over.
After all, Gattis still has a catcher ERA of 3.81, which is still better than the league average of 3.9. He also has a pair of assists in the 6 games that he has started as backstop. Add to that some solid average framing and game calling, and he’s still a good option to have back there.