Andrew McCutchen: MLB Network’s #2 CF ‘Right Now’

Andrew-McCutchen Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Network Right Now

MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Now” series is under way for 2014, ranking the best players at each position. It kicked off Friday night with center fielders, which of course meant more recognition for the 2013 NL MVP.

For the second year in a row, Andrew McCutchen is ranked the second best CF in Major League Baseball. Only 22-year-old phenom Mike Trout placed ahead of him, just like last year. Trout and Cutch notched the two highest fWAR totals among all players in 2013, at 10.4 and 8.2, respectively.

Here’s the full list of the network’s “Shredder” rankings:
10. Coco Crisp
9. Dexter Fowler
8. Adam Jones
7. Austin Jackson
6. Carlos Gomez
5. Matt Kemp
4. Jacoby Ellsbury
3. Carlos Gonzalez
2. McCutchen
1. Trout

Three consecutive All-Star nods and an MVP award under his belt, McCutchen has continued to grow as a player over the last few years. He’s put everything together – offense, defense, speed, etc. The Pirates go as Cutch goes, and he’s certainly been a steady producer:

Year Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS
2009 22 108 433 74 124 26 9 12 54 22 5 .286 .365 .471 .836
2010 23 154 570 94 163 35 5 16 56 33 10 .286 .365 .449 .814
2011 24 158 572 87 148 34 5 23 89 23 10 .259 .364 .456 .820
2012 25 157 593 107 194 29 6 31 96 20 12 .327 .400 .553 .953
2013 26 157 583 97 185 38 5 21 84 27 10 .317 .404 .508 .911
5 Yrs 734 2751 459 814 162 30 103 379 125 47 .296 .380 .489 .869
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/10/2014.

Best center fielder in the National League? I think so, especially “right now” like MLB Network defines it. Cutch is the man.

AndrewMcCutchen Dance MVP

AndrewMcCutchen Cole Photobomb

Go Bucs

Series Preview: Pirates @ Angels

LAA

Pittsburgh Pirates (43-30) vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (33-40)

June 21, 2013 – 10:05 pm
June 22, 2013 – 10:05 pm
June 23, 2013 – 3:35 pm

Angel Stadium of Anaheim – Anaheim, CA

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Resources: Pirates Depth Chart | Bullpen Workload | Statistics

After splitting the series with Cincinnati, the Pirates head out west to get a taste of interleague play. They’ll face off against an underperforming Angels ballclub that boasts a .452 winning percentage despite a star-studded lineup that consists of Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo, and Josh Hamilton. The last time these two teams met was in 2007, when the Halos handed the Bucs a three-game sweep at The Big A.

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Probable Starters:

Game 1 – Gerrit Cole (2-0, 3.75) vs. Jered Weaver (1-3, 4.41)

Game 2 – Francisco Liriano (5-3, 2.44) vs. Jerome Williams (5-2, 3.14)

Game 3 – Charlie Morton (1-1, 1.74) vs. Joe Blanton (1-10, 5.62)

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Batting Leaders (Among Qualifiers):

Pirates

Angels

AVG

Andrew McCutchen (.287)

Howie Kendrick (.330)

HR

Pedro Alvarez (16)

Mark Trumbo (17)

RBI

Alvarez (48)

Trumbo (50)

SB

Starling Marte (22)

Mike Trout (16)

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Pitching Leaders (Among Qualifiers):

Pirates

Angels

Wins

J. Locke, W. Rodriguez (6)

J. Vargas, C.J. Wilson (6)

SO

A.J. Burnett (99)

Wilson (85)

ERA

Jeff Locke (2.01)

Wilson (3.61)

Saves

Jason Grilli (25)

Ernesto Frieri (17)

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Opponent Blogs: Halos Heaven, Monkey with a Halo, Halo Hangout

Mike Trout catch GIF

Player to Watch: Mike Trout, who won the American League Rookie of the Year award last season and was runner-up for MVP. The 21-year-old New Jersey native can do it all on the baseball field, and the Pirates will get their first look at him this weekend. In 2012, he hit .326/.399/.564; in 2013, he’s hitting .317/.395/.556. Trout is creeping up on his numbers from a year ago, and he has 12 HR and 44 RBI to go with it. He’s mainly hit out of the second spot in the batting order, ahead of Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo, and Josh Hamilton. Hopefully Cole, Liriano, Morton, and the bullpen can contain the Halos.

Go Bucs

Awards Week: Rookie of the Year

The Baseball Writer’s Association of America announced the winners of the 2012 American League and National League Rookie of the Year Awards on Monday night.

The American League winner is Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels.

Trout, 21, won the award by unanimous vote. The New Jersey native was an absolute beast for LA this season; he was spectacular both offensively and defensively. He is up for the AL Most Valuable Player Award as well. Trout beat out Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes and Texas’ Yu Darvish for Rookie of the Year. While Cespedes and Darvish put together nice rookie seasons, Trout had one of the best ever.

The National League winner is Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals.

Harper, 20, led the Nationals to their first postseason appearance. He hit .330 down the stretch, crushed 22 bombs, stole 18 bases, and made the All-Star team. The other finalists were Arizona’s Wade Miley and Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier. A strong case could be made for any of the three players, though Harper is definitely deserving.

McCutchen ranked among top batting leaders

Despite hitting just .240 in his last 50 games of the season, Andrew McCutchen still ranked near the top of all MLB batting categories. Here’s a look:

– 2nd in Offensive WAR (7.5)
– 3rd in batting average (.327)
– 5th in on-base percentage (.400)
– 8th in slugging percentage (.553)
– 7th in OPS (.953)
– 4th in runs scored (107)
– 4th in hits (194)
– 5th in total bases (328)
– 10th in singles (128)
– 4th in adjusted OPS+ (134)
– 4th in runs created (132)
– 3rd-most times on base (269)
– 6th-highest Power-Speed Number (24.3)

Cutch impressively ranked second in offensive wins above replacement, which put him between Mike Trout (8.6) and Miguel Cabrera (7.4). He beat out Cabrera, the American League Triple Crown winner, by 0.1. Trout and Cabrera will be an interesting race for AL MVP. McCutchen is mixed in with some of the National League’s top talent, including Buster Posey, Ryan Braun, Joey Votto, and Yadier Molina.

Keep in mind that Cutch performed at this level while earning just $500,000, which has to be the best value in MLB. His new contract kicks in next season; he’ll make $4.5 million in 2013, which is still quite a bargain.