Three Reasons For Optimism Entering The Offseason

Sep 16, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle (left) talks with outfielder Matt Joyce (right) during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 16, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle (left) talks with outfielder Matt Joyce (right) during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 2, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) hits a two run single off of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) hits a two run single off of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

Andrew McCutchen’s hot finish the 2016 season

Yes, the 2016 season was the worst of Andrew McCutchen’s Major League career. However, he finished the season extremely strong. This is a very encouraging sign heading into the 2017 season.

From August 5th through the end of the season Andrew McCutchen had 244 plate appearances. In these 244 plate appearances he looked like, well, Andrew McCutchen. And that was a great thing for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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In these 244 plate appearances McCutchen slashed .284/.381/.471/.852 with a .365 wOBA, 131 wRC+, and an ISO of .188. During this stretch McCutchen hit nine home runs, eight doubles, two triples, he stole three bases, and he drove in 36. Additionally, he had a 13.9 percent walk rate and just a 14.8 percent strikeout rate.

This hot finish to the season should help to catapult Andrew McCutchen to a strong 2017 campaign. Honestly, had he hit the way he did over the season’s final two months all season long the Pirates probably would have, at least, finished with a winning record. Finally, this strong finish should also put an end to any of the ‘is Andrew McCutchen over-the-hill’ talk.

I look for Andrew McCutchen to have a big bounce back season in 2017. I would not be surprised at all if he looks like his former MVP self once again. He also has a lot to play for as he is just two seasons away from free agency and a new contract.