Pittsburgh Pirates: 30 greatest players in franchise history
By Tim Boyle
The long Pirates playoff drought ended in 2013. A big reason for it was the talent and leadership of outfielder Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen won the National League MVP and helped the Pirates earn their first spot in the postseason in more than two decades.
During his nine seasons in Pittsburgh, McCutchen managed to accumulate a 39.3 WAR. This was good enough to land him 10th all-time in this category in franchise history.
McCutchen wasn’t able to set any new highs in team history or set any single-season records. However, he was a well-rounded player from the beginning. During his best years with the Pirates from 2012 to 2015, McCutchen always finished in the top-five of the MVP vote. Each year, he had an OBP over .400
Just about every achievement possible was unlocked in those nine seasons. Aside from never taking his team all the way, McCutchen managed to do a lot with the Pirates.
Included with the MVP is a Gold Glove, four Silver Sluggers and five All-Star appearances. A mix of power, speed and an ability to get on base highlighted his time in Western Pennsylvania. He is by far the best player the franchise has had this century, making him an easy selection.
McCutchen is still active as of 2019 and will play a few more seasons. There’s nothing to suggest he will ever return to the Pirates, but I wouldn’t be surprised if in the final years of his career we see him finish in the city where he began his career.