Thursday, September 6, 2018

Off Day Meet a Prospect Special Edition: Andrew McCutchen

The New York Yankees needed an outfielder before the August 31st trading deadline with the recent injuries to Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge and others and the outfielder they chose was former Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants player Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen brings a certain veteran presence and swag to a young Yankees club in the midst of a pennant race and is the perfect choice for this particular team in my opinion, so let’s meet him. This is Meet a Prospect Special Edition for this off day, the Andrew McCutchen Edition.

Andrew Stefan McCutchen was born on October 10, 1986 in Fort Meade, Florida to Lorenzo McCutchen and Petrina Swan. Andrew’s father was a start running back with the Carson-Newman University football tea, in Jefferson City, Tennessee, but quickly gave up his dream to head to the NFL to be closer to his son and to Andrew’s sister, Loren. Instead Lorenzo helped Andrew follow his dream of being a professional baseball player and led Andrew to becoming eligible to play varsity baseball as an eight grader at Fort Meade High School. That season McCutchen hit .591 for the school’s team while also playing football and running track. McCutchen was one of the top football recruits in the state of Florida but ultimately decided to continue playing baseball, a decision that led him to the University of Florida and eventually to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

With the 11th overall pick in the 2005 MLB First Year Players Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Andrew McCutchen out of the University of Florida, immediately assigning the center fielder to their minor league affiliate. McCutchen spent four seasons in the Minor Leagues and was a Top 50 prospect in all four seasons according to Baseball America including a #13 ranking before the 2007 season. On June 9, 2009 the Pirates called up McCutchen to the big leagues after trading away starting center fielder Nate McLouth to the Atlanta Braves. McCutchen made his MLB debut the very next day against the New York Mets. McCutchen singled in his first at-bat off Mets starter Mike Pelfrey and ended the day with two singles, one RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base in a Pirates victory. McCutchen finished his rookie campaign with a .286 batting average, 12 home runs, 54 RBI and 22 stolen bases in 108 games, finishing fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year Award voting.

McCutchen was back on the Pirates big league club on Opening Day in 2010 and never looked back. While McCutchen had a strong 2010 campaign he did not make his first All-Star Game appearance until the 2011 season, replacing injured Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers. McCutchen was rewarded for his strong 2011 campaign with a new six-year deal worth $51.5 million to stay with the Pirates through his arbitration years that also came with a $14.75 million club option for the 2018 season. McCutchen was also named to the National League All-Star team for the second time in 2012 while also representing the Pirates in the 2012 Home Run Derby, replacing Giancarlo Stanton. McCutchen only hit four home runs and failed to make it out of the first round of the derby that year, but overall had a great season for Pittsburgh that resulted in a third-place finish in the National League MVP Award vote.

McCutchen was the cover athlete for the Playstation game MLB 13: The Show before the 2013 season beating out Yankees starter CC Sabathia for the honors. McCutchen also made another All-Star team in 2013 as a reserve for the National League, his third straight season being honored in the mid-season classic. 2013 also marked the first season that the Pittsburgh Pirates had a winning season and clinched a playoff birth since Barry Bonds led the Pirates to the postseason in 1992. The Pirates were eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in five games that season, but McCutchen was named the NL’s Most Valuable Player for the 2013 season after hitting .317 with 21 home runs, 84 RBI and stealing 28 bases. McCutchen was the first Pirates MVP award winner since Bonds won the award back in 1992. The Pirates were back in the postseason in 2014 behind another strong campaign from Andrew McCutchen, but this time the team ran into Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants. Mad-Bum was able to shut out the Pirates, thus ending McCutchen’s season after a fourth straight All-Star Game appearance and a second consecutive trip to the postseason.

Another year in 2015 and another trip to the All-Star Game for McCutchen and a third straight playoff appearance for the Pirates. In the All-Star Game the Pirates center fielder hit a home run off then Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer to become only the fifth member of the Pirates to ever hit a home run in an All-Star Game, joining a few familiar names in Ralph Kiner, Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente and Dave Parker. McCutchen also joined Clemente in the hearts and minds of the Pirates fans in 2015 after being named the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, thus becoming the first Pirate to win the honor since Willie Stargell in 1974. Unfortunately, the Pirates season ended once again in the Wild Card round after a 4-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs and Jake Arrieta. 2015 was a high for McCutchen, and 2016 began the decline for the Pirates center fielder. McCutchen finished the 2016 campaign with a .256 batting average, his lowest-ever batting average at this point in his career, and just 24 home runs.

McCutchen was dangled in trades after the 2016 season and was reportedly almost dealt to the Washington Nationals before the 2017 season before the deal fell through. McCutchen represented Team USA as a member of the Pirates before the 2017 season and was a huge part of the team that won their first ever World Baseball Classic gold medal for the United States. McCutchen continued to decline in 2017 somewhat finishing the season with a .279/.363/.486 with 28 home runs in his final season with the Pirates. Before the 2018 season the Pittsburgh Pirates sent McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants in a trade for Kyle Crick, Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 of international bonus slot money. McCutchen hoped to lead the revitalized Giants to the postseason as a right fielder, but San Francisco quickly fell out of the playoff chase leading McCutchen to be traded for the second time during the 2018 season, this time to the New York Yankees.

On August 31 of this season the Yankees acquired McCutchen from the Giants for infielder Abiatal Avelino and RHP Juan De Paula. McCutchen shaved his beard to join the Yankees and changed his jersey number from 22, the number he had worn throughout his entire career, to 26 since Jacoby Ellsbury currently wears #26 for the Yankees. McCutchen is now playing right field for the Yankees in the absence of the injured Aaron Judge and also appears to be learning left field before the Yankees series with the Seattle Mariners starts inside Safeco Field this weekend in Seattle.

Welcome to the organization, Andrew, and also a huge welcome to the Yankees family from everyone here at The Greedy Pinstripes. Enjoy your stay because you never know, we may be seeing you in 2019 as well. Stay well, Cutch.


  1. Thought this might be a good deal , however he has not produced like I thought he would and was hoping it would light a fire under Gardy.
    Let us talk the Voit hype , so this guy has hit some homers ,that is it no doubles ,no triples just either a home run or a single.
    I still think you gotta play Bird againts RH pitching.
    When oh when is team going to figure out that a single with bases loaded works , not the glory of a home run but it works or a double by going with the pitch.
    That A's and Red Sox are two of the best teams that go with the pitch and they are not trying yo crush every ball.
    We have had a half dozen hitting coaches and still can't move runners over.

    1. Bird hits left-handed pitching better than he does right-handed pitching, just an FYI for you, Rev.

  2. He's not a prospect. He's an established major league player.

    Not produced? Really? You must have not seen his HR the other night. He just got here and he's hitting the long ball faster than Stanton did.

    Light a fire under Gardy?? Gardy is one of the hardest working, give 110% effort players on the current team. You talk as if you just turn on a light switch to hit better because you want to.

    Voit hype? Proof is in the pudding. I feel bad for Bird, but Voit produces. If you don't want homerun hitters then Cashman is to blame for that, as he signed them because they are homerun hitters. It's not the homerun hitter's fault that they only hit homeruns!

    1. AGain, I realize he isn't a prospect. It is just something we have done on the blog since 2012. Meet a Prospect is for prospects, and the special editions are for established major leaguers... but we kept the name because we go back to when they were born, where they played high school and college ball, etc. all the way to the Majors.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)