Andrew McCutchen often writes a Biblical verse under his autograph. The one below is from Luke 14:11. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
So while McCutchen stays humble, I am going to get behind the pulpit and do some exalting for him. (Pass the offering plate)
10. He is passionate about improvement. He wants to steal more bases. He wants to bunt more, he had one bunt base hit in 2009 (we love bunting.) He wants to throw better. In other words, buckle up Pirate fans.
09. McCutchen puts butts in the seats. McCutchen had very little notice of his callup on June 4. He pulled an all nighter to catch a flight from Indianapolis with a layover in Cleveland to get to PNC Park. With very little fanfare, McCutchen sold five thousand walk up tickets. He had a hit off Mike Pelfry in his first at-bat and went 2-for-4 with a walk, scored three runs, stole a base and drove in a run. Five days later, he had four hits against the Braves including two triples. He is a difference maker.
08. McCutchen has power. He hit his first homer off Francisco Liriano and would finish third in homers among NL leadoff hitters. Only Jimmy Rollins and Alfonso Soriano had more last season. Cutch hit three in one game against the Nats, he also drove in six teammates.
07. McCutchen can fly. He had five triples in his first 17 games, only Jeff Stone of the ’83 Phillies got to five faster. If you have had the opportunity to see McCutchen fly around the bases, you understand. It’s pretty cool.
06. McCutchen is consistent. He had a thirteen game hitting streak from June 11-25. In fact, McCutchen had three seperate hitting streaks of 10 or more games.
05. Who else would be the face of this franchise? No, just kidding. Did we say McCutchen is fast? He had twenty infield singles.
04. When the Bucs needed him most, McCutchen delivered. He reached base safely in 20 of his last 21 games, hitting safely in 18 which equated to 29-for-82, a .354 average. It was just enough to keep the Bucs from losing 100 games.
03. Cutch gets national press. Virtually unheard of for the Pirates, with the exception of the losing ‘streak.’ Two of my favorite websites got the 2009 MLB Rookie of the Year correct. FanGraphs.com and BaseballAmerica.com named Cutch ROY. Fangraphs noted he hits for contact and power. Baseball America noted that McCutchen was asked to ‘not only become the Pirates’ starting center fielder and leadoff hitter, but also take the spot of their most popular player.’
02. Cutch jumps higher than Michael Jordan. The Pirates sales office made an offer to Philadelphia Phillie fans last season. It was: Let McCutchen Break Your Heart Night. Here is the story from that great night when Cutch hit his first career walkoff HR.
01. He’s a man of influence. I feel McCutchen was a great influence on Lastings Milledge. Could the new leader of the Pirates rub off on Milledge enough for him to live up to his potential?
00. Humble & Hungry. It’s a favorite saying of Under Armour founder Kevin Plank. McCutchens’ first job was a custodian at a bank. That’s cool. Once again, Luke 14:11. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.