We draft Andrew McCutchen because he impacts five different categories. In 2013, he was not only one of fantasy baseball’s best players, but also the NL MVP, posting the following stat-line:
Andrew McCutchen: 2013
There is nothing he can’t do on a baseball field. The amount of runs he generates along with his usual 25+ steals a season, are enough to keep any owner happy. When you add the power numbers he becomes one of the best players in the game.
His strikeout percentage dropped nearly 5% (per Fangraphs) last season while increasing his walk rate, helping contribute to a career high OBP. These are the main reasons he generated a substantial amount of runs for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013.
Since he posted 31 home runs in 2012 a lot of people wondered if those types of numbers were sustainable. In reality his power from that season was an anomaly and likely will not be repeated. He had a 19.8 HR/FB% which is way above the 12.3% that is his career average. I would not bank on him hitting more than 25 home runs in a season from this point forward.
I believe that Cutch can increase the amount of runs he scores this season. Pedro Alvarez hitting behind him in the lineup should give him enough scoring opportunities to eclipse the 100 run mark this season.
On the flip-side of this, hitting behind Alvarez is Neil Walker, whose bat doesn’t give me confidence that McCutchen will get a run boost if the potential RBI is left up to him. Hope for most of McCutchen’s opportunities to come at the hands of Pedro Alvarez.
Having just turned 27 in October, McCutchen is just entering his prime. Don’t expect him to improve in any one category in dramatic fashion. The statistics he has put up in the past three years are indicative of what we will see from him going forward.
Andrew McCutchen 2014 Projections