Inside the Projections: Andrew McCuthchen

5-22-2010: Andrew McCutchen in action during the Pirates vs Braves game in Pittsburgh at PNC Park.
Andrew McCutchen 2011 Projection:
 

AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

HR

R

RBI

SB

585

0.288

0.370

0.466

0.836

18

96

58

36

 
In some ways, 2010 may have been a disappointing year for McCutchen owners. He wasn’t bad by any stretch, but he didn’t have a true breakout season either. However, McCutchen did prove two important things this past season: Consistency and upside.  
 

Year

AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

HR

AB/HR

2009

433

0.286

0.365

0.471

12

36.1

2010

570

0.286

0.365

0.449

16

35.6

Year

BB%

K%

SB

CS

SBS%

2009

11.0%

19.2%

22

5

81.5%

2010

10.7%

15.6%

33

10

76.7%

 
McCutchen finished with the same exact same AVG and OBP as he did his rookie season. He even hit home runs at roughly the same pace. One negative was his regression in stolen base success rate. However, given his age (23) and natural talent — not to mention work ethic — he has plenty of room to improve that success rate in 2011, which should lead to a better stolen base total.
 
Another positive factor going for McCutchen is the young and improving Pirates lineup behind him. McCutchen came close to scoring 100 runs in a lineup that did not feature Jose Tabata, Neil Walker or Pedro Alvarez for the entire season. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he broke the 100 or even 110 runs scored mark in 2011.
 
As you can see from the projection, I am expecting an improvement from McCutchen, but not a huge breakout. That being said, there is certainly the potential that he out-performs these projections.
 
What Andrew McCutchen has done in his first two major league seasons at ages 22 and 23 has shown us just how solid of a young ballplayer he is. Mixing patience at the plate with the potential to hit for both power and AVG, some .290/20/40 seasons are well within reach. Don’t be afraid to reach for that potential in 2011.