Thursday, September 8, 2011
The Awesomeness of Andrew McCutchen
Last night (Wednesday Sept. 7) the pitcher J.A. Happ and catcher Humberto Quintero of the Astros met at the mound for a lengthy conversation on the mound to discuss how to pitch to CF Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates. McCutchen represented the tying man, and put the very first pitch he saw in the stands (his second homer of the day). The Pirates went on to win the game. Even though the Pirates have faded drastically in the second half, the value of McCutchen to this team cannot be overstated. With a little less than a month to play, he has hit 22 homers, 85 rbis, (the average is low at .269, but the OBP is very respectable at .372), and 20 stolen bases. His WAR (wins above replacement player, measures how many more or less games a team would win with an "average" bubble player playing instead of the player in question) is 5.4, most on offense, but his defense has certainly improved. For comparison, last year's AL MVP Josh Hamilton's war was 7.2 (this year it is only 2.9). McCutchen was selected 11th (in the first round) in the 2005 draft, 1 behind Cameron Maybin (now playing for the Padres but selected by the Tigers). Maybin played just 24 games for the team who drafted him, and hit .143. In his career, all added up, his WAR is just 5, which is less than McCutchen's total just this year (Maybin is having his best year though, with a WAR of 3).