Andrew McCutchen

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Andrew Stefan McCutchen

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Biographical Information[edit]

Andrew McCutchen was the 2013 National League 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.

McCutchen and the Pirates started the 2014 relatively slowly, as he hit .286 in April, then went all of May without connecting for a home run. He was at his best in June, however, when he was named the NL Player of the Month after hitting 12 doubles and 8 homers while collecting 25 RBIs; he hit .343 and slugged .686 during the month. For their part, the Bucs had managed to find their way back into the postseason picture, as they were now playing above .500. On August 2nd, he was hit in the back by Randall Delgado of the Arizona Diamondbacks in what was widely seen as retaliation for Pirates pitcher Ernesto Frieri ending 1B Paul Goldschmidt's season by breaking his hand with a pitch a night earlier. No punishment was meted out, but Andrew suffered a broken rib and had to miss a few games, although he elected not to go on the disabled list with the Bucs at a crucial juncture of their season. The Pirates had to bite the bullet on August 11th, however, seeing that the injury would need some time to heal, and he went on the DL retroactive to the injury. The stay was short, thankfully, as Andrew was back in the line-up on August 19th. He played 146 games that season, hitting .314 with a league-leading .410 OBP and a .542 slugging percentage, good for a league-leading OPS figure of .952 and an OPS+ of 166, also tops in the circuit. He hit 38 doubles and 25 homers, scored 89 runs and drove in 83 while playing his customary excellent defence and was third in the voting for the MVP Award. The Pirates repeated as hosts of the Wild Card Game but this time were defeated by the San Francisco Giants as Andrew went 0 for 3 with a walk.

In 2015, he continued to be the leader of one of the top team in the majors, being selected to play in the All-Star Game for the fifth straight year. He was the Player of the Month in the NL in August, when he hit .348 with 5 homers, 19 RBIs and 18 runs scored. He finished the year at .292 in 157 games, with 36 doubles, 23 homers and 96 RBIs while scoring 91 runs. This time, he finished 5th in the MVP voting as the Pirates compiled the second-best record in the majors. The problem was that the best record was that of division rival St. Louis, meaning the Bucs were forced to play the Wild Card Game for the third straight year, and in a frustrating game, they were defeated by Jake Arrieta and the Cubs in spite of Andrew going 2 for 4.

On April 26, 2016, he had the second three-homer game of his career in a 9-4 win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. That put him in elite company, as the only other Pirates hitters to have a pair of three-homer games were all Hall of Famers: Ralph Kiner, Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell. His production fell back that season,a s his batting average fell to .256 in 153 games - the lowest of his career, although he did hit 24 homers. He scored 81 runs and drove in 79 while hitting 26 doubles, all numbers that were below his normal output and his OPS+ fell to 103, lowest of his career as well. Defensive metrics also showed that his defence in centerfield had now become below par, and after the season the Pirates announced that they would move their outfielders around for 2017, with Andrew going from center field to right, Gregory Polanco from right to left, and Gold Glover Starling Marte from left to center. That plan did not last long because Marte was suspended for his dalliance with PEDs two weeks into the season, forcing the Pirates to place Andrew back in centerfield. He also played right for Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, hitting .238/.273/.286 with one run and five RBI in six games for the tourney champs. He came up big against two-time champion Japan when his single off Tomoyuki Sugano scored Christian Yelich with a key run in a 2-1 win. He also drove in a pair in the title game win over Puerto Rico as the US won its first world title since the 2000 Olympics. He started the year slowly, hitting .244 in April and only .207 in May, raising concerns that he was starting a premature decline, especially after his disappointing season the year before. However, he had an exceptional month of June, hitting .411 with 6 homers, 23 RBIs and 22 runs to earn Player of the Month honors. His renaissance came a bit too late to earn him a return ticket to the All-Star Game, but at least he had put an end to rumors that he was about to be put to pasture. On July 30th, he had the third three-homer game of his career in a 7-1 win over the San Diego Padres. On September 26th, he hit the first grand slam of his career in a 10-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles; it came in the 2nd inning off Kevin Gausman, and he had hit 201 long balls in over 5,000 at-bats before finally adding that particular feat to his resumé. He then added a three-run homer, finishing with 8 RBIs on the day (he had already hit an RBI double in the 1st). He finished the season at .279 with 28 homers and 88 RBIs in 156 games, upping his OPS+ to 121, a nice bounce-back season although still a ways off from his peak of 2012-2015.

On January 15, 2018, the Pirates decided to part ways with their franchise player, trading him to the San Francisco Giants in return for two youngsters, P Kyle Crick and OF Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 in international bonus money. He was the second top-rank star traded by the Pirates, following P Gerrit Cole two days earlier, while the Giants had acquired another player with a similar profile, 3B Evan Longoria, a month earlier, a clear sign that they were looking for an immediate return to contention on the back of veteran players. McCutchen ended his Pirates career with 1,346 games, 1,463 hits, 203 homers and 725 RBIs to go along with a .291 average, making him one of the best outfielders in team history. It was announced that McCutchen would play right field in San Francisco, putting his experience as a centerfielder to use in AT&T Park's huge right field area, with Hunter Pence sliding over to left field. His career as a Giant got off to a rough start, though, as through his first 6 games, he was hitting just .083 (2 for 24) without an RBI. This, it must have felt good to give his team a walk-off win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 7th with a three-run homer off reliever Wilmer Font in the 14th inning. It was his sixth hit of the game in 7 at-bats, erasing his early-season hitting woes all at once. He fouled off seven pitches after falling behind 1 and 2 before his game-winning blast off Font. He had another game-ending hit on April 10th with a bases-loaded single off Jorge De La Rosa that gave San Francisco a 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. At the end of August, rumors emerged that the New York Yankees were making a serious pitch to acquire McCutchen before the August 31st deadline for his being added to the postseason roster. The Yankees were feeling the bite from an extended absence by superstar RF Aaron Judge, who still did not have a firm return date. The trade was confirmed on the 31st, with the Giants receiving a couple of minor league prospects in return, Abiatal Avelino and Juan De Paula. He hit .255 with 15 homers and 55 RBIs with the Giants, then hit .253 with 5 homers and 10 RBIs in 25 games for the Yankees. He struggled in the postseason, however, going just 2 for 18 with 1 RBI.

McCutchen became a free agent after the 2018 season and on December 11th signed a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies worth $50 million. He was the team's starting leftfielder at the beginning of the 2019 season, until taking over for CF Odubel Herrera when he was placed on administrative leave in late May following allegations of domestic violence. However, his season ended only a couple of weeks later, on June 3rd, when he tore the ACL in his right knee while trying to escape a rundown in a game against the San Diego Padres. An MRI performed the next day confirmed the injury, which ended his season, He was hitting .256 in 59 games, with a league-leading 43 walks and an excellent OBP of .378 as the team's primary lead-off hitter. He was also hitting with power, with 12 doubles and 10 homers, and had already scored 45 runs, so his loss was a big blow for the Phils, especially with the uncertainty concerning Herrera. In 2020 he appeared in 57 of the Phillies' 60 games in the pandemic-shortened season, batting .253 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs. He had another good season in 2021 to complete the three-year deal, hitting .222 in 144 games, with 27 homers and 80 RBIs. His OPS+ was actually 109 in spite of the low batting average, and was above 100 for each of his three seasons in Philly. He was actually one of the most consistent players on the team during that period, when Philadelphia somehow managed to miss the postseason all three years in spite of spending lavishly on free agents, the most prominent of which was Bryce Harper.

A free agent again after the 2021 season, on March 16, 2022, shortly after the resolution of the lockout, he signed a one-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. On April 26th, he achieved a rare milestone when he stole the 200th base of his career against his former team, the Pirates. Having already passed the 200-homer mark, he became the 51st player to have reached both totals. He played 134 games as Milwaukee's most-used DH and occasional corner outfielder, hitting .237 with 17 homers and 69 RBIs and an OPS+ of 99. The Brewers missed the postseason and a free agent again after the season, he decided to return home, signing with the Pirates for a second engagement in what would likely be the final stop of his career. Interestingly, the Bucs had never given out his uniform number, 22, to anyone else after he had left and he was able to reclaim it for the 2023 season. He recorded the 2,000th hit of his career on June 11th; it was a single off Carlos Carrasco in the 1st inning of a 2-1 win over the New York Mets at PNC Park. He was the first player to reach 2,000 career hits while wearing a Pirates uniform since Stargell. In 112 games, he hit .256 with 12 homers and 43 RBIs, with an OPS+ of 115, thanks to an OBP that remained excellent at .378. Back with the Pirates in 2024, he hit the 300th home run of his career on April 14th, a solo shot off Ricardo Pinto in the 9th inning of a 9-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Sources: 2006 Baseball Guide,

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2009 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
  • 5-time NL All-Star (2011-2015)
  • 2013 NL MVP
  • NL Gold Glove Winner (2012/CF)
  • 4-time NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2012-2015)
  • NL On-Base Percentage Leader (2014)
  • NL OPS Leader (2014)
  • NL Hits Leader (2012)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 9 (2011-2018 & 2021)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2012)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (2012)

2012 2013 2014
Buster Posey Andrew McCutchen Clayton Kershaw

Further Reading[edit]

  • Adam Berry: "Cutch ready to put turbulent offseason in past: After tough 2016, Pirates star was subject of widespread trade speculation",, February 17, 2017. [1]
  • Adam Berry: "Cutch better prepared for unknown future: Star CF focused on impending birth of first child, not potential trade",, October 31, 2017. [2]
  • Adam Berry: "Cutch on time with Bucs: 'A lot to be thankful for' - Former face of Pirates looks forward to new chapter after trade to Giants",, January 18, 2017. [3]
  • Michael Clair: "McCutchen primed for bounceback year: Final two months of 2016 season showed potential for much better '17",, December 16, 2016. [4]
  • Justice delos Santos: "McCutchen awestruck by reunion with Bucs: 'I’m just thankful'",, January 20, 2023. [5]
  • Justice delos Santos: "Here's how McCutchen chose his iconic No. 22",, January 26, 2023. [6]
  • Justice delos Santos: "Cutch gets hit No. 2,000 -- and an emotional ovation",, June 11, 2023. [7]
  • Chris Haft: "Giants introduce new right fielder: McCutchen - A staple in center with Pirates, former NL MVP shifts to corner, while Pence moves to left",, January 17, 2018. [8]
  • Adam McCalvy: "Cutch joins elite 200-HR, 200-steal club",, April 26, 2022. [9]
  • Bob Nightengale: "Giants refuse to concede, plan to contend again with Andrew McCutchen", USA Today Sports, January 15, 2018. [10]
  • Bob Nightengale: "What Andrew McCutchen offers the Yankees", USA Today, August 31, 2018. [11]
  • Jorge L. Ortiz: "Trading Andrew McCutchen could be a real bad deal for the Pirates", USA Today Sports, December 1, 2016. [12]
  • Tracy Ringolsby: "Cutch is Bucs' shining star once again: After slow start, drop in lineup, outfielder already has award-winning season",, July 24, 2017. [13]
  • Alex Stumpf: "'Wouldn't want to do it any other place': McCutchen hits homer No. 300",, April 14, 2024. [14]
  • Tod Zolecki: "Cutch 'excited and happy' to be with Phils",, December 18, 2018. [15]

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