This Triple-A catcher making A's take notice

June 27th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Martín Gallegos’ A’s Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Kyle McCann seemingly had the inside track on an Opening Day roster spot as the A’s backup catcher. Then, during the final week of Spring Training, the club signed veteran backstop to a Minor League deal.

Leapfrogged by Pérez on the depth chart just days before Opening Day, McCann instead began the year at Triple-A Las Vegas. Over that time, the 25-year-old catcher has done all he can to keep himself on Oakland’s radar.

In 47 games with the Aviators, McCann is hitting .285 with a .903 OPS, 10 homers, 10 doubles and 32 RBIs. He is part of an impressive Las Vegas catching duo featuring A’s No. 1 prospect Tyler Soderstom.

A fourth-round selection by the A’s in the 2019 MLB Draft out of Georgia Tech, McCann entered pro ball considered a bat-first catcher with impressive raw power. Though he currently ranks just outside Oakland’s Top 30 Prospects list, his maturation as a hitter and strides behind the plate have made him a legitimate candidate to reach the Majors this season, should the need for a backstop arise.

“He has real power and is a leader on defense,” A’s assistant GM and director of player personnel Billy Owens said. "It’s been fun to watch him emerge and continue to become more viable.”

Double-A Midland

Joey Estes, Oakland’s No. 19 prospect, continues to perform well in his second season in the A’s organization. Acquired from the Braves as part of the Matt Olson deal in 2022, the 21-year-old right-hander entered Monday holding a 3.47 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) with 63 strikeouts and 22 walks over 70 innings.

“Good delivery with a 93-95 mph lively heater,” Owens said of Estes. “Nice slide piece. Good changeup. Attack mode with the entire arsenal. He’s got starter ingredients.”

Jack Perkins, 2022 fifth-round Draft pick out of Indiana University, recently earned a promotion to Double-A after his start with High-A Lansing. The 23-year-old righty carries a combined 3.13 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) with 59 strikeouts and 24 walks over 63 1/3 innings.

“Jack is off to a solid start in the Midwest League,” Owens said. “He throws a hard-riding fastball in the 94-97 mph range. Tight hard breaking ball and developing changeup.”

Owens, who credited A’s amateur scout Rich Sparks for discovering Perkins, threw out a former A’s All-Star pitcher as a comp.

“There are some Andrew Bailey similarities,” Owens said. “In the stuff and development of Perkins.”