Tigers James McCann learning to become leader by observing veterans

The Detroit Tigers have been blessed with quality talent at catcher this year. The acquisition of Jarrod Saltalamacchia has made it possible for Detroit to move talented backup Bryan Holaday to the Rangers. James McCann took over the starting catching role last season and played remarkably well.  According to an article with Fox Sports McCann is ready to continue as the full-time starter this season.

Manager, Brad Ausmus commented recently on McCann embracing the leadership role and becoming a more vocal member of the clubhouse:

“He’s not being a quiet, reticent rookie in the corner listening to what’s being said,” said Ausmus, a former catcher. “He’s doing both listening and also speaking when he feels it’s appropriate.”

Even at age 25, McCann is constantly learning how to be more comfortable as a key member of the team. One of his strategies has been to model the behavior of veteran players:

“You watch guys like Miggy (Cabrera), Victor (Martinez), (Ian) Kinsler,€“ guys who have done it for 10 years –€“ no matter what the situation is, no matter what kind of pressure there is, they’re comfortable. They’re able to stay relaxed.

“You see the difference in a veteran player like that and a young player. The more experience you have, the more comfortable and relaxed you’re going to be. And that’s going to allow you to be a better player.”

The 2016 season is very important for the Tigers. Offseason acquisitions have put them in a place to compete at the highest level. The team will be relying on McCann to step up and produce. For his part, Ausmus feels like that is inevitable and has the utmost confidence in his young catcher:

“I think he’s one of those guys who a lot of people will say in a few years that he burst onto the scene, when baseball people knew that he was going to get there eventually,” Ausmus said.

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Adrian Dantley: Former Piston, Hall of Famer, elementary school official