Each week I’ll be looking in to a bounce back candidate at each position. These are going to be more of a stat based, analytical deep dive on a specific player. The projections next to the player names are an average of THE BAT, ATC, Steamer, and ZIPS projection systems found on Fangraphs. NFBC ADP data is from the date range 2/01/2019-03/13/2019. Does McCutchen have anything left?
Andrew McCutchen, PHI (ADP 136): 614 PA, 82 R, 25 HR, 78 RBI, 11 SB, .260/.361/.465/.826
Through his illustrious 10-year career, McCutchen has piled up All-Star nods, Silver Sluggers, Gold Gloves, and even an MVP. He’s remarkably durable, having played in less than 146 games just once (his rookie year). He hasn’t hit fewer than 20 home runs since 2010. He’s never had a single digit walk rate or a K rate above 21.3%. McCutchen may very well be the most consistent player in baseball. So why is he going after pick 135?
Well, he’s a 32-year old outfielder who’s two worst non-rookie seasons have come in two of the past three years. That’s not the kind of flashy player that gets owners excited enough to reach for him above his ADP too frequently. He’s seen his stolen base and batting average numbers drop dramatically in recent years, so he may not be the true 5-category contributor that he once was.
With both the positives and negatives of his game laid out, let’s look at something he can’t control. Consider that he’s spent his entire career in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, two of the worst hitters parks in the league. When he was traded to the Yankees last season, his HR/FB% jumped up over 9%. He was finally playing in a hitters park putting his fly balls to use.
The good news is that McCutchen signed with Philadelphia this offseason. The Phillies’ Citizen Bank Park is the second best home run park for right handed batters in the entire league. The even better news? McCutchen had by far the highest hard hit rate of his career last season and was still in the 88th percentile of sprint speed. The best news? Roster Resource currently has him slotted in to bat leadoff for the Phillies after the signing of Bryce Harper. That means the steal attempts and runs should be plentiful in 2019. No one is predicting McCutchen to go back to his MVP winning ways, but he’s way more valuable than pick number 136. Capitalizing on players who other owners have disregarded is the name of the game.