Spring Training Preview: The Catchers

We continue our look at the positions for the Braves with a stop behind the plate.

Catcher is probably one of the most stable positions on the Atlanta roster.

Brian McCann is 26 years old now, and the older he gets the larger the role he assumes on this team. He's a perennial All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger winner.

McCann is about as automatic as you can get on this Atlanta roster. You can count on him for a very good batting average (he's a .293 career hitter), with around 20 home runs and around 90 RBI.

But again, his leadership is as important as his statistics. McCann is becoming more of a team leader, and the players look up to him with respect.

David Ross is perhaps the best backup the Braves have had at catcher in many years. Ross hit .273 last year with 7 home runs.

If McCann or Ross get hurt, the Braves will again call on Clint Sammons to make the trip down I-85 to Turner Field. Sammons has great defensive skills, but he still needs to get better at the plate to convince the Braves he can replace Ross in 2011.

Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on WFSM Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, Georgia and The Braves Show Talk Show. Shanks writes a weekly column for The Macon Telegraph. Email Bill at thebravesshow@email.com and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/billshanks.

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