"I got the call that I was coming up to Double-A at midnight as I was about to get in bed and next thing I know I am packing to head up to Erie. Being my first season, and the first time I have played 140 games or so, I knew what to expect but yet never been through it and enjoying the ride and making mental notes as how to handle it."
Before being transferred to Erie, the 22 year old catcher from Santa Barbara, California made a splash with the Lakeland Flying Tigers to begin the 2012 season. James McCann was a reliable hitter mixed with spurts offensive power posting an average of .288 with 46 hits and 20 runs batted. While being a good offensive player for the Flying Tigers, what made McCann eye catching was his defense behind the plate. McCann says that he has always prided himself on his defense.
"Individually I pride my game on the defensive end. I have always felt that way and as a catcher I can catch, I can receive, I can block and I can throw every single day. I can set that tone for the rest of the team on the defensive end every day. As a hitter it doesn't matter who you, your going to have good days and bad days. I pride myself on my defense and I can't take any days off behind the plate and that's where I look to shine."
After being a success in Lakeland and arriving in Erie right after a top prospect just left, there was speculation that McCann might have some big shoes to fill. But McCann does not view it that way when he simply states that "I wanted to come in fresh and show them (Erie) what I have". McCann has done just that with the SeaWolves and has established his own style of catching with the club.
Since becoming a member of the Erie Seawolves, McCann's offensive numbers have dropped slightly by batting .173 with 28 hits and 16 runs batted in but overall he has remained a fairly reliable hitter who has come through in key moments for the club along with continuing to be an excellent defender. The younger catcher is not discouraged by the dip in offensive production and views this season as a huge learning experience.
"Just continuing to stay positive and get the at-bats that I need. It is my first professional season playing in Double-A which is an accomplishment in itself. I'm happy with how I have progressed and I just want to keep continuing to progress in the right direction. The ultimate goal is to play in the big leagues but the biggest goals for me now is to progress in the manner that I need to and see where that takes me."
Always looking to become a better all-around player McCann says that he is looking to improve on the mental aspects of the game. "Definitely always working on the offensive end but the on the defensive end, it is the mental side of the game. Watching opposing hitters, watching my own pitchers and knowing their strengths and knowing their pitches along with knowing what to do with each pitcher on my staff is all mental. Understanding the mental side of the game is something that is always on-going and helps every pitcher be able to succeed. It is always a battle as far as there is always something you can get better at no matter who you are, each and every day that is my goal to at least get better at one thing."
As McCann's first season with the SeaWolves and the 2012 season draw to a close, McCann looks to continue his growth as a player. Going into the upcoming off-season McCann looks to find different ways he can improve as a player this off-season compared to off-season's past and hopes to comeback as integral part of the SeaWolves organization in all facets of the game for the 2013 season.
Shortly after one of the Rob Brantly was called up to Triple-A Toledo, James McCann got a call that he was being transferred from Class-A Lakeland up to Double-A Erie. Not only was McCann ecstatic with the news, but with Brantly now traded to the Marlins, McCann is the top catching prospect in the system and quickly approaching the big leagues.
After being drafted just last year, James McCann has had to learn quickly as he moves up the ladder.