Kyle McCann Continues To Draw Attention
Even in the strangest of seasons, Kyle McCann has a knack for drawing attention.
“I can’t recall anybody in my time hitting the ball with that kind of power to the opposite field,” Athletics farm director Ed Sprague Jr. said. “Majestic balls that just go up.”
The lefthanded-hitting catcher pounded 23 homers for Georgia Tech during the 2019 season and was rewarded by the A's calling his name in the fourth round. Just a year later, the organization was delighted by what he showed, first in spring training and then in summer camp.
“The power’s real. He drives the ball to the opposite field like a righthanded pull hitter,” Sprague said. “I think it’s going to be more power than hit.”
The 6-foot-2, 217-pound 22-year-old spent his first two years at first base for the Yellow Jackets, while Joey Bart handled catching duties. This put McCann behind on the learning curve as he moved into the pros. He responded with an intense desire to improve.
“I think he has the skill set,” said Sprague, who dabbled at catcher in college before becoming a major league third baseman. “He receives the ball well. He’s learning how to lead a staff. I think it’s a matter of consistently practicing his craft behind the plate.”
McCann’s arm ranks as average, and his defensive skills have improved. If he develops into a major league catcher, his value would soar. If not, he will compete at first base.
He drew 62 walks in 62 games his final year at Georgia Tech and posted a .468 on-base percentage, but struggled to a .211/.312/.404 mark in his pro debut spent mostly with short-season Vermont. How his ability to reach base translates to full-season ball could be another key to his advancement.
“He’s a nice kid,” Sprague said. “His teammates like him, and he has a good sense of humor. He enjoys being out there and being around his teammates. Once he gets the ball rolling, I think he’ll just keep going.”
— Righthander Daulton Jefferies impressed at summer camp. He threw a simulated game and his plus changeup and fastball that sat 95 mph made for a good combination. He was working to develop consistency with his slider, which could be a key to his advancement.
— The A's were delighted that Rule 5 pick Mark Payton cleared waivers and was returned by the Reds. Payton hit .334 with 30 homers for Triple-A Las Vegas last year.