February 25, 2011

2011 Position Preview: Center Field

Andrew McCutchen is your center fielder, for better or for worse. By the way, it's better. You need a legitimate superstar to win a championship, and McCutchen is it for Pittsburgh. It's invaluable to have his name at the top of your lineup every day, and his glove anchoring your outfield defense.

A lot of people who play fantasy baseball are saying McCutchen will get overdrafted. He won't. He's a deserving second or third round pick. Let's look at what he can do:

2009: 108 games, .286/.365/.471, 74 Runs, 12 HR, 54 RBI, 22 SB
2010: 154 games, .286/.365/.449, 94 Runs, 16 HR, 56 RBI, 33 SB

McCutchen got hurt repeatedly last year and still missed only eight games. He played on the worst hitting team in the National League in years and still scored 94 runs despite not batting leadoff until two months into the season. He saw no pitches to hit whatsoever and was 23 years old and still cracked 16 home runs. He played for the most risk-averse manager in Pirates history and still stole 33 bases.

McCutchen will be better in 2011. He'll be 24. It's time for not a breakout season - no, that will be 2013 when he scores 130 runs - but a big season nonetheless. What skill does he not have? I am looking at 110 runs, 18 home runs, 70 RBI, .286 batting average of course, and 45 steals. He should slug around .480 and get on base at a .370 rate. That's the first piece to a championship team.

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