Earlier this week, Major League Baseball announced this year's All-Star Game starters following a lengthy (and convoluted) fan-voting process. Gary Sanchez won out among American League catchers, and as such will begin the game in the squat. When the full rosters are announced on Sunday, Chicago White Sox backstop James McCann should hear his name announced -- after all, it's McCann, not Sanchez, who has been the AL's best hitting catcher so far this season.
You read that correctly. McCann entered Saturday with a slight lead over Sanchez in FanGraphs' wRC+ statistic -- a measure that adjusts for ballpark and gives proper credit to on-base percentage. Even if Sanchez pulls ahead in the coming weeks, McCann deserves credit for having one of the game's most surprising, and least covered, breakout seasons.
McCann entered the weekend hitting .327/.385/.530 with nine home runs. Take the best of those categories from his previous big-league seasons, and you'd end up with a .264/.318/.415 slash line with 13 dingers. Breakout season, indeed. McCann's chances of having a year like this were so remote that the Detroit Tigers non-tendered him over the winter. He then signed a one-year deal worth $2.5 million with the White Sox, which has proven to be a bargain.
That's the what -- what's the how?