No one ever said replacing a potential Hall of Fame catcher in Brian McCann was going to be easy to do. But given the way Evan Gattis has swung the bat during the last couple months, the transition is going smoother than anyone could've reasonably hoped for.
With three more hits on Tuesday night, including a monster home run that upped his total to 13 on the season, Gattis is hitting .280 with a .895 OPS and 146 wRC+. He leads all catchers with those 13 dingers and is second in RBIs with 31. His ISO, which measures raw power, is up to .286, which is seventh-best in MLB. This basically means he hits the daylights out of the ball whenever he makes contact.
There really isn't too much of an argument that Gattis is a top-five offensive catcher in the game right now, if not top three.
Defensively, Gattis started off a bit shaky but has seemingly gotten a little better as he continues to gain experience. He's thrown out seven of 29 would-be base stealers. El Oso Blanco is never going to be a Yadier Molina type behind the plate, but it's safe to say he's at least met expectations so far, if not surpassed them.
As for McCann, he's really struggling. He's hitting .225/.282/.363 with seven homers and the worst walk rate (5.9%) and wRC+ (76) of his career. In a home ballpark that caters to lefties, Mac hasn't adjusted to life with pinstripes yet.
Fair or not, Braves fans were going to compare McCann to Gattis for not only one year, but for years to come. It wasn't that the Braves didn't want to re-sign McCann -- it's that it made zero financial sense at the time. And with Gattis waiting in the wings, it was time to move on.
Gattis will make $16 million less than McCann in 2014, and right now he's close to doubling his offensive production. For a guy who wasn't on anyone's radar three years ago, his story just keeps on getting better.