Pittsburgh Pirates: Best First Round Picks in Franchise History
By Noah Wright
Number Two – Andrew McCutchen
Picked in one of the most stacked draft classes ever, 2005 1st round pick Andrew McCutchen was the Pittsburgh Pirates pick during that year. He turned out to be one of the best picks in Pirate draft history.
McCutchen started off his career with a solid three year stretch from 2009 to 2011 batting .276/.365/.458 with 51 home runs and 78 stolen bases. Overall, he had a 121 OPS+, 126 wRC+ and 12.2 fWAR. All pretty good numbers. But the next four seasons McCutchen would go on to cement himself as one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates players in their franchise history.
From 2012 to 2015, Cutch hit .313/.404/.523 with 100 home runs, 76 stolen bases, a 157 OPS+/wRC+. Although his defense wasn’t fantastic (-21 DRS, -2.2 UZR/150, 0.9 range runs), his offense more than made up for his overall slightly below average defense. McCutchen’s wRC+ in these four years was the 4th highest in baseball, and his .397 wOBA ties him with Paul Goldschmidt for the 4th highest mark as well.
McCutchen did struggle in 2016, batting just .256/.336/.430 with 24 long balls and a 104 OPS+, McCutchen did do much better in his final season as a Pirate in 2017. During that season, Cutch hit .279/.363/.486 with 28 home runs, his highest total since 2012, and a 123 OPS+.
McCutchen racked up a 45.7 fWAR in his Pirates tenure. That’s the 9th highest total among any Pirates’ player. His 137 wRC+ ties him with Richie Zisk for the 10th highest mark in Bucco history.