ShareThis Page

Stats Corner: Few young Bucs avoid outs like McCutchen

| Saturday, May 17, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

When it comes to avoiding outs, Andrew McCutchen just keeps getting better. The reigning National League MVP and Silver Slugger winner is taking his offensive game to a new level in 2014, getting on base at a .425 clip that's bested by just Troy Tulowitzki and Shin-Soo Choo among qualified batters.

McCutchen has boosted his OBP in four consecutive seasons, from .364 in 2011 to this year's high-water mark during his age-27 campaign. In fact, few young Bucs in the franchise's 128-year major league history have ever been so skilled at reaching base.

Through age 27, McCutchen holds the fifth-highest OBP in Pirates history among batters taking at least 3,000 trips to the plate. Paul Waner, Arky Vaughan and Ralph Kiner — all Hall of Famers — and Jason Kendall are the only Bucs with a better OBP in their early-to-mid-20s.

Finding a way on

Batter Years OBP

Paul Waner 1926-30 .430

Arky Vaughan 1932-39 .420

Ralph Kiner 1946-50 .400

Jason Kendall 1996-2001 .389

Andrew McCutchen 2009-14 .383

Source: Baseball-Reference

McCutchen keeps impressive company among his positional peers, too. He has the seventh-highest OBP among center fielders through age 27, topped only by six guys enshrined in Cooperstown: Richie Ashburn (.387), Willie Mays (.393), Al Simmons (.396), Joe DiMaggio (.403), Tris Speaker (.414) and Mickey Mantle (.435).

You might think McCutchen has drastically increased his OBP and walk rate (from 11.6 percent last season to 17.1) because pitchers are scared of him. But he's actually getting more pitches over the plate this year (46.1 percent) than last (44.2), according to Fangraphs. Instead, McCutchen is displaying sharper plate discipline: he's chasing 23.2 percent of pitches thrown out of the zone, down from 27.9 percent in 2013.

Source: Baseball-Reference

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.