Objectively speaking, Brian McCann has been the Braves’ best hitter this year. He has an .883 OPS, the best among Braves who have been regulars all year. But is McCann anti-clutch?
He has been this year. His WPA is barely in the black at +0.03 despite All-Star-level numbers in most categories. The “clutch” component of his WPA is -1.31, reducing his WPA/LI of +1.34 to zero. He just hasn’t hit with the game on the line.
Today’s chart shows his WPA, WPA/LI, and Clutch week by week in 2009.
I don’t believe that “clutch” or “anti-clutch” play is a significant and persistent skill, but it’s tough to deny that McCann has struggled in tough spots in 2009. He basically spent the entire month of May in the red in WPA because of poor clutch play, even though he was hitting well overall. Even as he struggled in general last week, the clutch component was below his actual performance.
I don’t have an explanation for this.