Andrew McCutchen Shines in His Debut

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIJune 5, 2009

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  Outfielder Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for photos during spring training media day on February 24, 2008 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

One of the main reasons the Pirates traded CF Nate McLouth was to make room for super prospect and fellow CF Andrew McCutchen. Why the Pirates didn’t just move McLouth to RF so they could have an outfield with Morgan, McCutchen, and McLouth is beyond me. But I guess that is for a different post. Back to the matter at hand.

McCutchen made his major league debut yesterday against the Mets, and it couldn’t have gone any better. McCutchen went 2-for-4 with three runs scored, one RBI, a walk, a stolen base, and saw a team high 19 pitches in his five plate appearances. I would say that is one heck of a day.

McCutchen is about 5'11" and 175 pounds, so he is not as wiry as, let’s say, Rockies CF Dexter Fowler. However, he is just as fast and looks like a player who will develop more power with age. If you want to ask me for a comparison? How about a right-handed Curtis Granderson with a little more speed.

Here are some other facts about Andrew McCutchen:

Age

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22

College

None. Went to Fort Meade High School in Florida.

Drafted

Was the 11th pick of the first round of the 2005 Draft.

Minor League Stats

•2006 Single A: .291 with 15 HRs, 62 RBI, 22 SBs, and a .356 OBP in 114 games

•2006 Double A: .308 with three HRs, 12 RBI, and a .379 OBP in 20 games

•2007 Double A: .258 with 10 HRs, 48 RBI, 17 SBs, and a .327 OBP in 118 games

•2007 Triple A: .313 with one HR and five RBI in 17 games

•2008 Triple A: .283 with nine HRs, 50 RBI, 34 SBs, and a .372 OBP in 135 games

•2009 Triple A: .303 with four HRs, 20 RBI, 10 SBs, and a .361 OBP in 49 games

Keith Law Ranking and Analysis

Ranking

No. 18 out of the 100 best prospects in baseball.

Analysis

“Andrew McCutchen has been rushed. Repeat after me: He…has…been…rushed. This isn’t a criticism of the current regime in Pittsburgh, as the rushing all took place before Neal Huntington could even get a catalog to pick out new drapes for his office, but they inherited a player who had arrived in Triple-A before his 21st birthday despite posting a .710 OPS in Double-A, a level he reached after the Pirates skipped him right past high-A. He’s been rushed, I say. The good thing is that he has survived this hazing and even performed well in several areas, notably his plate discipline.

"McCutchen has strong wrists and forearms and makes hard contact, but doesn’t get his lower half involved at all and thus hasn’t hit for the kind of power he’s capable of producing. He has great bat speed and has hit for average while making plenty of contact. He’s a 65-70 runner but had an uncharacteristically sloppy year as a base stealer; he’s a plus glove in center but could use a little work on routes. The power should come—he’s too young for us to assume that it won’t—and the new regime in Pittsburgh has a much better player-development protocol in place.”