Cutch Among NL’s Best Center Fielders

Without question, Andrew McCutchen has been the most impressive Pirate so far this season, and he’s been tearing it up over the last couple weeks. After missing time with the stomach flu earlier this month, Cutch has come back raking. McCutchen hit two home runs in a game twice over the last three days (Thursday vs. WSH, Saturday vs. DET). He went homer-less in April, but has turned on the jets in May. This month, he is hitting .413 with 7 HR and 13 RBI. McCutchen is also terrorizing left-handed pitching. The 25-year old outfielder is carrying the Pirates offense right now. Here’s a look at how McCutchen compares with the other center fielders of the National League.

Andrew McCutchen, who was ranked 3rd by MLB Network in their Top 10 Right Now for center fielders, is proving himself this season at the plate. Matt Kemp, who got off to a monstrous start but is now on the disabled list due to a left hamstring strain, is the only CF in the National League that can top him. A breakdown of the top NL center fielders for each offensive category:

Batting Average
1. Matt Kemp, .359
2. Andrew McCutchen, .346
3. Michael Bourn, .328

Home Runs
1. Matt Kemp, 12
2. Andrew McCutchen, 7
3. Shane Victorino, 5

Runs Batted In
1. Matt Kemp, 28
2. Andrew McCutchen, 20
3. Dexter Fowler, 18

On Base Percentage
1. Matt Kemp, .446
2. Andrew McCutchen, .405
3. Michael Bourn, .383

Slugging Percentage
1. Matt Kemp, .726
2. Andrew McCutchen, .566
3. Angel Pagan, .462

Runs Scored
1. Matt Kemp, 29
2. Michael Bourn, 28
3. Andrew McCutchen, 24

Hits
1. Michael Bourn, 58
2. Angel Pagan, 48
3. Andrew McCutchen, 47

Despite Matt Kemp’s unbelievable start to the year, Cutch is still hanging with him in almost every category. McCutchen and Kemp are clearly the most dynamic center fielders in the National League, as they have both shown mixes of speed and power. Other center fielders, such as Michael Bourn and Shane Victorino, are dynamic players but don’t hit for too much power over the course of the season. Hopefully McCutchen can continue his success throughout the summer.

Although it’s early, Cutch is making a strong campaign for the NL All-Star team. Matt Kemp is looking like the easy choice to be voted for the starting job (assuming he comes back strong from injury), but McCutchen could sneak in as a reserve. Plus, he’s clearly the best Pirate right now, so that certainly helps his cause. As long as he doesn’t slow down too much between now and July, Andrew McCutchen could/should very well be representing the Pirates at the All-Star Game in Kansas City.

Go Bucs

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