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Brian Mccann Swinging Well, but Shift is Killing Average

May 8th, 2012 at 11:48 PM
By Cody Fields

Brian McCann is still providing power in the middle of the Atlanta Braves lineup, but his .232 average after Tuesday's game against the Chicago Cubs has many scratching their heads.

Hitting mainly cleanup for the Braves but also against an exaggerated infield shift, McCann has hit into all kinds of bad luck, resulting in a .207 batting average on balls in play.

"I feel good, I'm just not getting results," McCann said. "It's just kind of weird."

McCann's power has also come on timely occasions. He gave Atlanta the lead in the home opener with a three-run homer, and he tied the game with a grand slam against Roy Halladay last week in their 11-inning, 15-13 win.

For comparison, Michael Bourn and his slap hitting style is slugging .397 with a .328 batting average. McCann's slugging percentage is .411 with an average nearly 100 points lower. A few good games with balls in the gap instead of into the shift, and McCann could raise his season average closer to his lifetime .285 average.

Oddly, McCann reached five homers in 93 at-bats this year, compared to 173 at-bats last year. It also just happens that he was hitting .301 at that point last season.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Brian McCann, MLB

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