Cutch

“I feel like I am more deserving than last year. It definitely feels good just to be on the team.”
Pittsburgh Pirates Outfielder Andrew McCutchen on being selected to the National League All-Star team

Andrew McCutchen made his second straight All-Star Team in 2012. McCutchen has the highest batting average in all of Major League Baseball. He is hitting .371! McCutchen was the Pirates number onedraft pick in the 2005 Amateur Draft. In, 2009, he was fourth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. He began his Major League career on June 3, 2009. In March of 2012, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Andrew McCutchen to a six year $51.5 million dollar contract extension. McCutchen is not a “big guy.” He gets his power from his tremendous bat speed.

My first impression of Andrew McCutchen was a very positive one. “Cutch” joined the Indianapolis Indians late in the 2007 season and I was impressed by how polite and respectful he was and the quite confidence that he exudes. Andrew spent all of 2008 with the Indianapolis Indians and all of us could see his great potential. One of his strengths was that he had a good knowledge of the strike zone. McCutchen’s numbers with Indianapolis in 2008 were quite respectable: he batted .283 with nine homers, 50 RBI’s and 34 stolen bases.

The main concerns about Andrew after that season was that he rarely hit balls to the opposite field…he was caught stealing 19 times…and he tripled only three times in 590 at bats even though he possessed great bat speed and was a very fast runner. The improvements came in 2009 under Indianapolis Indians hitting coach Jeff Branson. Andrew had been shortening his swing and getting too much of his top hand involved. He began to lengthen his swing through the ball and kept the barrel of the bat through the strike zone. The results were dramatic in Indianapolis the first two months of the 2009 season. And…with due diligence his base stealing improved, too. These days Andrew McCutchen is one of the top players in all of baseball.

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