Evan Gattis is not just a great baseball player. He is the greatest human being ever.
1845: El Oso Blanco publishes the rules of baseball.
1879: Assists Thomas Edison in inventing the light bulb.
1903: After years of attempting to launch the first airplane, the Wright Brothers contact Gattis, who promptly throws the plane from Ohio to North Carolina.
1945: Wins World War II
And so on, and so on…
Actually, Gattis was everything he was advertised to be: a raw hitter with a ton of power and a possible liability behind the plate.
In 382 plate appearances, Gattis hit 21 home runs, walked 21 times and hit 21 doubles. Maybe he should change his number to 21. His power numbers are huge, but it was evident that he has a ways to go to be a more complete hitter. It also probably didn’t help that he was trying to learn to play left field while having to figure out how to hit Major League pitchers. His batting average is about 30 points higher (.236 vs .260) against LHP. Coming off the bench, he was 7-14 with four homers.
Gattis is the front runner to be the starting catcher, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him platoon with Gerald Laird and Ryan Doumit some. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see him play left field if B.J. Upton struggles again.
This could also be the year Gattis becomes a breakout star. The Braves will give him a chance to show what he can do before deciding if Christian Bethancourt is ready. If Bethancourt is raking on the farm and Gattis is slumping, they will probably call him up. The Braves are fortunate to have pretty good depth at catcher.
I expect Gattis to become a more consistent hitter. Focusing on playing one position and playing four to five days a week will help. It wouldn’t be impossible to see him hitting 25-30 HR with OPS of .790-.810, with a relatively low OBP and high slugging. Of course, if he can’t make the adjustments, he could be relegated to the bench or even sent down to figure things out.
What am I saying? He will hit 85 homers, hit .400, balance the Federal Budget and declare world peace.