Birth Place: Fort Meade, Florida
Weight: 190 lbs.
Also check out Pirates Productions’ “Driven” – Andrew McCutchen
Andrew McCutchen was drafted 11th overall in the 2005 MLB Draft, and signed with the Pirates instead of attending the University of Florida. In his first full year as a professional, the Pirates named him their 2006 Minor League Player of the Year. After a few successful seasons in the minors, McCutchen came to Pittsburgh in June of 2009 after Nate McLouth was traded to the Atlanta Braves. He recorded his first hit in his first major league at-bat, starting off an impressive rookie season. On August 1st against the Nationals, he went 4-for-5 with 3 homers and 6 RBI. Later that month, he hit his first career walkoff home run againts Brad Lidge of the Phillies. He finished the 2009 season with a .286 average, 12 HR, 54 RBI, and 22 stolen bases in 108 games. Cutch was named the Baseball America Rookie of the Year, and finished 4th in the official National League Rookie of the Year voting.
McCutchen entered 2010 as the starting center fielder with high expectations. He produced very similar numbers to his 2009 statistics, but played in 46 more games. He finished with an identical .286 batting average, 16 homers, 56 RBI, and 33 stolen bases. He was quite streaky in 2010, hitting his best in May (hitting .327 with a .901 OPS) and September (batting .326 with 22 runs and 17 RBI), but also hitting an abysmal .226 in August.
Entering 2011 with a “sky is the limit” mentality with new manager Clint Hurdle, Cutch was set to have a big season. Despite a huge dip in his batting average due to a disappointing month of September, McCutchen showed a big increase in homers and RBI. In August he became the first Pirate since Nate McLouth to record 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in the same season. Cutch was named to the National League All-Star team for the injured Ryan Braun, and made his first ASG appearance in Phoenix.
Despite his small stature, Cutch still produces solid numbers, and was recently named the 3rd best center fielder by MLB Network (check out our post here: Cutch Ranked Third by MLB Network.). He finished behind Jacoby Ellsbury and Matt Kemp, who both finised second in MVP voting in their respective leagues, so its definitely an impressive honor. It also makes it tough on McCutchen that he has to bat third or fourth in the lineup, instead of first or second. In this position, he’s expected to produce big power numbers, whereas he can simply get on base and steal bases at the top. I believe this is the main reason for the big drop in batting average, as he was simply trying to hit for power last season instead of just getting on base. His style is better fit for the top of the lineup, but there is such a lack of power in the Pirates lineup that we must keep him in the third or fourth spot. Realistically, we’re probably not going to keep McCutchen in Pittsburgh forever. However, it’d obviously be great to sign him to an extension that would keep him with the Pirates until around 2019, like Jose Tabata‘s deal. An outfield of Starling Marte – McCutchen – Tabata to go along with the young pitching staff would be a sight to see. The future holds a lot of promise for the Pittsburgh Pirates.