06/08/05 6:38 PM ET
Braves promote McCann to Majors
Catching prospect replaces injured Perez on Atlanta's roster
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
McCann, a native of Duluth, Ga., which is located 20 minutes northeast of downtown Atlanta, is considered one of the top catching prospects in all of baseball. He'll take the roster spot of Eddie Perez, who was placed back on the 15-day disabled list.
When McCann got the news on Tuesday night, he was eating a late dinner in Jackson, Tenn., with his best friend Jeff Francoeur, Jonathan Schuerholz and Wes Timmons. The 21-year-old catcher flew to Atlanta in time for Wednesday night's game against the Angels.
"It's everything I expected and more. I was just real excited to get here," McCann said. "It's going to be fun."
McCann, a talented left-handed hitter, was hitting .265 with six homers and 26 RBIs for Double-A Mississippi. After a recent slump, he had his eyes checked and got a new prescription for his contact lenses.
According to Baseball America, McCann is rated as the Braves' third-best prospect. Andy Marte and Kyle Davies -- ranked the club's No. 2 and No. 4 prospects, repectively, by the publication -- are already in Atlanta, while top-ranked Francoeur is batting .272 with nine homers and 44 RBIs in Double-A.
"I like [McCann] a whole lot," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He's a good catcher, a good thrower, and he's going to hit like hell."
McCann, who was a second-round selection in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, will provide the Braves with some depth at catcher position until Johnny Estrada makes his expected return on Sunday or Monday. Estrada suffered a concussion during a Monday night collision with the Angels' Darin Erstad.
Perez was activated from the disabled list to serve as Brayan Pena's backup on Tuesday night. But his shoulder needs at least a few more weeks to regain its strength.
When Estrada returns, McCann will likely return to Mississippi or go to Triple-A Richmond. But, at least for a few days, he'll have a chance to see what life in the big leagues is going to be like.
"I feel like I belong," McCann said. "Now it's just a matter of doing it."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.