If you happen to follow along with me on Twitter, you’re no stranger to my commentary on great catching. I grew up catching, so while you couldn’t classify me as “naturally talented,” I’m a student of the craft. And James McCann put together a dandy on Monday. Here’s me reacting live.
And here’s the throw live:
Notice a couple things. First, Gardner is bluffing the bunt which keeps McCann back. Second, it’s not a great pitch to throw on because it’s low. Third, watch how quickly McCann unloads this throw while keeping it right on the money. You couldn’t hand that ball to Kinsler in a better location.
But that’s not all. The base runner is Jacoby Ellsbury and Ellsbury is one of the best base runners of his era. He’s added 30 runs just via stolen bases in his career and another 10 runs doing other good base running stuff. From 2013-2014, he was worth about 2 WAR in base running alone. And you can see it in the little box in the corner, he got a good jump.
Another angle, tells the story. It wasn’t the best jump in the history of baseball, but he’s off and running and gets to top speed quickly. When McCann gets the ball, Ellsbury is about halfway to second.
I’m an Avila fan, but James McCann isn’t to be trifled with.