The Pittsburgh Pirates are on to something. While their current starting rotation might leave something to be desired, the outfield of the present and the future is as good as it gets.
By locking Starling Marte up for six years (plus two option years), the Pirates have an excellent left fielder in place right through his late-twenties peak – all at the controlled costs the Pirates need to survive.
Andrew McCutchen is the best player on the Pittsburgh Pirates. He might just be the best player in the National League, when awards time comes. He is the beating heart of the Pirates batting order, hitting third while posting the best numbers on the team. The right-handed center fielder lead the team in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging pecentage this year.
Already in the 2013 playoffs (five games, including the Wild Card play-in), Andrew McCutchen has reached base an astounding 12 times. In losing 2-1 to the Cardinals in Game Four, Cutch failed to reach base at all. It isn’t too much of a stretch to say as McCutchen goes, so go the Pirates.
Which is good news for Pirates fans ahead of their pivotal Game 5 against Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals tonight. Because Andrew McCutchen is very difficult matchup for the Cardinals ace.
Pittsburgh’s ROOT Sports launched a new television and web series titled ‘All Stars with Andrew McCutchen’ on Tuesday. The show features McCutchen interviewing ‘all stars’ from fields outside of sports, and the Pirates center fielder’s first guest was none other than celebrity chef, reality TV star, and author Anthony Bourdain.
Kudos to Bourdain for slamming ballpark beer prices. If it was up to Bourdain, he’d have very good beer at a reasonable price at his ballpark. You can own a ball team in my world any day, Mr. Bourdain.
McCutchen and Bourdain close this short segment out by discussing their love of junk food. McCutchen declared his love for Eggo Waffles and Bourdain informs us that he can’t get enough Popeye’s fried chicken. Swoon.
For the second straight year, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ first half was much better than expected. On August 8 of last year, they beat the Diamondbacks and moved to 63-47 and sat just two-and-a-half games behind the eventual NL Central champion Reds. But their success, just as it was the year before, was unsustainable. Pittsburgh finished the year going 16-36 to finish with their 20th consecutive losing season, but still had their best record since 1997.
It finally appears, however, that the Pirates are on the right track. Center fielder Andrew McCutchen emerged as one of the game’s best players and there’s a decent core of young position players that seem to be coming into their own such as third baseman Pedro Alvarez and second baseman Neil Walker. With two of the best pitching prospects in baseball set to make their big league debuts sometime this season, things are looking brighter for Pittsburgh than they have in some time.
The organization took some flack last year after reports came out that Navy SEAL training drills were being run in the extended spring training, which led to some players getting hurt — including some top prospects. The ordeal ended in an investigation by owner Bob Nutting and a promise to stop the drills. The team also whiffed on signing first-round draft pick Mark Appel who was expected to go first-overall but slipped to the Pirates at number-eight. Appel decided to re-enter the draft next year when the team couldn’t offer him close to his asking price.
Whether we like our players to stroke dongs or jack taters, we all know our fantasy-based desire for the stat borders on the lecherous. The problem with the home run is that it’s such an I/O situation: it’s either a home run or it’s not. And using stats like isolated slugging percentage to try and suss out changes in a player’s power profile can be confounded by the fact that any ball that lands in the park is then subject to the interaction between the fielder’s grace and the batter’s speed. Doubles don’t always turn into home runs. Sometimes doubles are actually stretched-out-singles or boffed grounders in the outfield.
Are there peripheral stats for batters that can help us predict power surges? Or at least some numbers that can help predict which power surges will stick?
Almost half a million votes were cast for the opportunity for seven players to be voted by fans to be on the cover of MLB 13: The Show, and to the surprise of even the man himself, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is your winner.
Wooowww! The front cover of a video game?!?!!!!! Still cant believe it! Prob not going to sleep tonight.