Brian McCann had a disappointing first season with the Yankees, hitting just .232 with a career-low .692 OPS in 140 games after signing a five-year, $85 million contract.
He’s an extreme pull hitter and teams shifted a ton against McCann, who told MLB Network that he’s “definitely going to change my approach a little bit” next season in an effort to combat the shifts.
I think there’s definitely times to bunt. Maybe leading off the inning down four or five runs or [with a] man on first, no outs, try to start a rally. But, you know, as far as hitting the ball the other way, that’s something I’ve definitely done going into spring training and then a month into the season you look up and you sacrifice power and driving the baseball. Or at least I do. That’s the line I have to walk. I’ve hit a certain way for a long, long time.
It’s certainly valid for a good hitter to worry about his overall production declining if he were to change his approach trying to beat shifts, but when you’re coming off a season in which you got on base just 28 percent of the time working on laying down some bunts and slapping the ball down the third base line seems like a pretty reasonable change.