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Andrew McCutchen

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Andrew Stefan McCutchen

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[edit] Biographical Information

Andrew McCutchen was the 2013 NL MVP.

He was a Baseball America first-team All-American in his senior year of high school, during which he batted .709, slugged a whopping 1.836 and stole 16 bases. In the 2004 World Junior Championship, he hit only .133 as the Team USA center fielder though his six runs were second on the team to Justin Upton. McCutchen was picked by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the 11th overall pick of the 2005 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Rob Sidwell for $1,950,000 and made his pro debut that summer.

Andrew began his professional career with the GCL Pirates and hit .297/.411/.430 with 13 steals in 14 tries. Moving up to the Williamsport Crosscutters, he batted .346/.443/.442 in 13 games. He led Gulf Coast League outfielders with four double plays and Baseball America rated him as the league's top prospect. He hit .293/.358/.449 for the 2006 Hickory Crawdads with 22 steals in 29 tries and got called up to the Altoona Curve when Vic Buttler was promoted to AAA. McCutchen became the youngest player in the history of the Curve and went on to hit .308/.379/.474 in 20 games with the club. His 17 total homers showed excellent power for a player his age. Baseball America named him the top prospect in the South Atlantic League in a rare unanimous consensus of scouts and managers. He also was named the Pirates minor league player of the year.

McCutchen impressed Pirates management in spring training of 2007, hitting well and showing a great glove in Grapefruit League play. He started 2007 slowly, though, hitting under .200 for over a month. Initially, the woes were blamed on the cold temperatures McCutchen had never faced before, but they continued through May. He recovered as the year progressed to push his batting line to .258/.327/.383 by mid-August; one positive was 17 steals in 18 tries. Despite having not yet solved AA, McCutchen was promoted to the AAA Indianapolis Indians alongside fellow first-rounder Neil Walker with a couple weeks left in the season. McCutchen hit .313/.347/.418 in 17 games for Indianapolis in 2007.

McCutchen opened 2008 with Indianapolis and was batting .282/.371/.405 with 24 steals in 39 tries after 92 games. That earned him selection to the 2008 Futures Game. Playing left field for the USA and hitting leadoff, Andrew popped up against Carlos Carrasco in the first and flew out facing Hector Rondon in the third. The announcers misidentified him both times - they claimed he was Greg Golson in the first and Dexter Fowler in the third. Golson replaced McCutchen in left. He finished the year with a batting line of .283/.372/.398 for the Indians with 34 steals in 53 tries. He led the International League in times caught stealing. Baseball America rated him as the IL's #2 prospect after Jay Bruce and called him the league's most exciting player.

Andrew also started 2009 with Indianapolis, hitting .303/.361/.493 with 8 triples and 41 runs after 49 games, with 10 steals in 12 tries. When Pittsburgh traded away Nate McLouth, McCutchen was called up to the big leagues. He had an excellent debut, going 2 for 4 with a walk, steal, RBI and 3 runs. After 14 games, he was hitting a solid .323/.373/.476. On July 31, McCutchen became the first Pirate rookie ever to hit 3 home runs in a game. He ended that first season with a batting line of .286/.365/.471 in 108 games, with 26 doubles, 9 triples and 12 homers as well as 22 steals in 27 tries. He fielded .993 in center field with 10 assists in 108 games. He tied Troy Tulowitzki for sixth in the 2009 NL in triples and he was third in assists by a center fielder, behind Matt Kemp and Michael Bourn. He was named to the 2009 Topps All-Star Rookie Team after the season. He finished 4th in voting for the 2009 National League Rookie of the Year Award behind Chris Coghlan, J.A. Happ and Tommy Hanson.

In 2010, he picked up right where he had left off the previous year, again hitting .286 with a .365 OBP, but this time over a full 154 as the Pirates' starting centerfielder. His slugging percentage fell a bit, to .449, but he still hit 35 doubles and 16 homers, while scoring 94 runs and stealing 33 bases (caught 10 times) in an excellent all-around year. He was 5th in the 2010 NL in swipes. With the emergence of fellow youngsters Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez and Jose Tabata that same year, Pirate fans had their first reason to hope for something better in many years.

Indeed, the Pirates started the 2011 season very well, and were still in the thick of the NL Central race by the end of July, before falling back over the last couple of months and finishing below .500 again. McCutchen was one of the leaders of the early surge, being named to play in the All-Star Game for the first time (replacing Kemp in center field; he grounded out against Alexi Ogando in his lone trip up). Overall, though, he remained on pace from his excellent first two seasons, hitting only .259/.365/.456 for a 127 OPS+, a bit up from 2009-2010, in 158 games, although his power was still there, with 34 doubles and a career-high 23 homers. He also drove in 89 runs, his highest total, drew 89 walks, and scored 87 runs. One problem was his second-half collapse, hitting .291/.390/.505 in the first half and .216/.330/.392 in the second. He still finished among the 2011 NL leaders in walks (5th, between Lance Berkman and Chris Young), outfield putouts (414, 1st) and center field assists (9, second to Kemp).

Before the 2012 season, the Pirates rewarded him by signing him to a 6-year deal worth $51.5 million. He was one of the few players on the team to maintain good hitting stats through the season's first two months that year, when the Bucs were hitting around .215 as a team but were being kept around .500 by some tremendous performances from their pitchers. He then put together a great month of June, when he was named the National League Player of the Month, thanks to a .370 average, 40 hits, 7 homers and 26 RBI. He was then named to the All-Star team for the second time. In that contest, he replaced Melky Cabrera in center field in a 8-0 NL win. He singled off Chris Sale in the 6th and grounded out in the 9th against Fernando Rodney. On July 3, he reached .360 for the season, leading the majors in average. He repeated as the National League's Player of the Month in July, when he hit .446 in 25 games with 22 runs scored, 15 RBI and a .719 slugging percentage. He slumped after that, hitting in the .250s in August and September/October. He hit .327/.400/.553 with 70 walks, 31 home runs, 6 triples, 107 runs and 96 RBI for the year, though he only was 20-for-32 in steal attempts. He fielded .997 in center. He was among the league leaders in average (second to Buster Posey due to his late slump), OBP (third after Joey Votto and Posey), slugging (third behind Giancarlo Stanton and Ryan Braun), OPS (5th, between Posey and Aramis Ramirez), runs (tied for second with Justin Upton, one off the lead), hits (194, 1st, 3 ahead of Braun), total bases (328, 2nd to Braun, 28 shy), home runs (tied for 8th with Chase Headley), walks (tied for 8th with Braun), OPS+ (162, second to Posey), extra-base hits (66, 9th, between Alfonso Soriano and Matt Holliday), times on base (1st with 269, 4 ahead of Braun), caught stealing (tied for third with Tabata), putouts in center (367, 3rd behind Michael Bourn and Ángel Pagán) and fielding percentage in the outfield (second to Jon Jay's perfect mark). He won both the Gold Glove (joining Jason Heyward and Carlos González in the outfield) and the Silver Slugger (joining Jay Bruce and Braun). In voting for the 2012 NL MVP, he finished third behind Posey and Braun.

McCutchen started 2013 a little slower (.303/.375/.471, 138 OPS+, 25 2B, 53 R, 46 RBI, 18 SB after 84 G) and was picked for his third straight All-Star team; the last Pirate to make three consecutive All-Star squads was Bobby Bonilla over 20 years earlier. On September 3rd, he hit his 100th career homer in a 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. It was a historic win for Pittsburgh, as it ensured that the team would not lose more games than they won that year, breaking a record 20-year streak of consecutive losing seasons. He finished as a serious MVP candidate again, with a .317/.404/.508 batting line for a 158 OPS+, 97 runs, 38 doubles, 21 home runs, 84 RBI, 27 steals in 37 tries, 78 walks and 11 outfield assists. He was 7th in the 2013 NL in average (between Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig), 3rd in OPS (behind Votto and Shin-Soo Choo), 6th in slugging (between Marlon Byrd and Carlos Gomez), 6th in OPS (between Michael Cuddyer and Freddie Freeman), 6th in runs (between Votto and Upton), 3rd in hits (185, behind Carpeter and Daniel Murphy), 5th in total bases (296, between Bruce and Votto), tied for 7th in doubles (with Murphy and Ian Desmond), 4th in walks (between Paul Goldschmidt and Dan Uggla), 6th in steals, 2nd in OPS+ (just 2 behind Goldschmidt), tied for 6th in extra-base hits (64, even with Byrd), third in center field assists (behind Juan Lagares and Gomez), first in center field errors (6) and tied for first in center field double plays (3, even with Jon Jay, B.J. Upton and Ben Revere). He then began his postseason career 7 for 13 with 5 walks, a double and 3 runs as Pittsburgh won three of its first four games. He went 0 for his next 8, though, and Pittsburgh lost its last two to the great pitching of Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright, to be eliminated. McCutchen was named the 2013 NL MVP, getting 28 of 30 first-place votes to easily beat out Goldschmidt and Yadier Molina for the award. He was Pittsburgh's first MVP since Barry Bonds in 1992.

Sources: 2006 Baseball Guide, Minorleaguebaseball.com

[edit] Notable Achievements


NL MVP
2012 2013 2014
Buster Posey Andrew McCutchen tbd

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