Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Andrew McCutchen File

Name: Andrew Stefan McCutchen
Height: 5-11; Weight: 175; Bats: R; Throws: R
Born: October 10, 1986 (Fort Meade, Florida)
High School: Fort Meade HS; no college
Drafted: Pirates' 1st round pick (11th overall) of 2005 draft.

Scouting report (MLB.com's Top 50 Prospects 2009): He's a five-tool player with terrific athletic ability to go along with plus bat speed and good pitch recognition. The development of his power will determine whether he's a leadoff hitter or an eventual run producer. He has outstanding speed and is an excellent defensive center fielder, but is still learning the nuances of base-stealing.

Concerns: Better base-stealing techniques (48 SB, 24 CS in AAA, 67%), improvement against RHP, improve on 10% walk rate, develop more power. Overall, the worry is that he's still raw since the Pirates rushed him through their system.

Potential: Most of the major projection services have him hitting in the .260's this year with single-digit HRs and 20 SB; most fantasy pages peg him as a .280 batter. The longer-term question is whether he grows into a three hitter as he matures or stays at the top of the order.

Minor League Stats: 4 seasons +, 2,223 at-bats; .286 average; .362 OBP, 43 HR, 232 RBI, 330 R, 105 SB (75%), 10% walk rate, 15% K rate.

Minor League Awards: International League Player of the Month (May 2009); Picked for Futures Team, IL All-Star, named All-Star Game "Top Star," Baseball America's choice for #2 prospect in the IL(2008); Arizona Fall League Rising Star, All-AFL Prospect Team (2007); South Atlantic League All-Star & Most Outstanding Sally league major League prospect (2006).

Prospect Rankings: (Baseball America)
2006 - #50 MLB
2006 - #02 PGH
2007 - #13 MLB
2007 - #01 PGH
2008 - #14 MLB
2008 - #01 PGH
2009 - #33 MLB
2009 - #02 PGH

Bio: During McCutchen's junior year at Fort Meade High School in 2004 he batted .474 with 8 HR, 40 RBI, 45 stolen bases with only 5 strikeouts; his senior year was better when he hit .709 with 8-2B, 3-3B, 16 HR, and 42 RBI while named an All-State selection. He also played football and ran track.

McCutchen, who had a commitment to the University of Florida, signed with the Bucs after graduation as their #1 pick. By the end of 2006, the Pirates named him the organization's Minor League Player of the Year.

He's played at Bradenton, Williamsport, Hickory, Altoona, and Indianapolis. In Altoona, he was the youngest player in franchise history and the youngest playing in the Eastern League that season. His rise has been so rapid that last year at Indy was the first time the 22 year-old has played at one level for an entire season.

McCutch has been a Top 50 Prospect since 2006, and tore it up this spring. Most believe the only reason he didn't break camp with the team was to delay starting his arbitration clock, and that's not a bad idea. Now he's here; let the good times roll.

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