If Healthy, McCutchen Can Be Breakout Player In 2011


Pittsburgh Pirate Andrew McCutchen got some national headlines today in Sports Illustrated in this article by Ben Glicksman.

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Glicksman says that Cutch is poised to be the 2011 breakout star in MLB.  So who is to say Cutch can’t do what Glicksman predicts?The thought that a Pittsburgh Pirates player made national headlines is enough for me.  How long has it been since there was such a powerfully positive story on a Pirates player? 

Don’t forget Cutch had a nice season, but remember he played injured throughout the season.  We feel the possibility of McCutchen becoming a breakout star is a given.  Some of the other comments in the article are a bit much, but it’s hard to measure just how good 2010 was for Cutch.  It’s an interesting question to consider.

Perhaps, the bigger question is how can Cutch remain healthy?  He had several nagging injuries in 2010.

The ankle. 

The shoulder.

Rob Biertempfel had this video of McCutchen after the shoulder injury.

So our point is this, before you really look at the numbers Cutch put up in 2010, think about what he could have put up without fighting through the multiple injuries.  If Cutch stays healthy, what does his season look like?   Would his May and June look the same?  How about his month of August?  In September, Cutch played well.  So what was it?

It’s not real hard to realize that injuries had an impact on the numbers Cutch put up in 2010.   So will he be fully recovered this season?  2011 will be exciting for Cutch and the fans of Pittsburgh.  The center fielder is a budding star, but his slender size scares the shit out of us.   Will he ever be able to avoid the major injuries that sidetrack so many stars?

From Ben’s story he brings up Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez:   Last year, prior to his Triple Crown-threatening 2010 campaign, Gonzalez was 23 years old and going into his second MLB season, exactly the same situation as McCutchen this year. Gonzalez wasn’t called up until June 5 and played in only 89 games, finishing with a .284 average, 13 home runs, 29 RBIs, 16 steals and 53 runs scored. Projected over 155 games, however, his stats look much different: .284 BA, 22 HRs, 42 RBIs, 27 SBs, 92 runs scored

Now here are his 2010 numbers, when he played a full season: .336 BA, 34 HRs, 117 RBIs, 26 SBs, 111 runs scored

"“It’s the game of baseball, and it’s a crazy game Gonzalez came up last year with the Rockies and had a decent year and he came this year and killed it. A lot of players do it.”—Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates"

Players can make large strides in production in their third season.  In 2011, Andrew McCutchen can do it too.


What would a day be without Pirates non-news on the manager hunt?

It appears that Clint Hurdle has been able to hang around in the NY Mets job.

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