Found May 17, 2012 on Steel City Sports Report:
Mlb-padres-pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates have squandered a lot of drafts over the last two decades.  But they appeared to hit the jackpot in the 2005 MLB draft when they selected a sinewy high school outfielder from Fort Meade, Florida with the 11th pick.  In a draft that featured names like Braun, Zimmerman, Bruce, Tulowitzki, Upton, and Ellsbury, it is hard to believe there would be room for one more superstar taken in the first round.

Andrew McCutchen is rapidly reaching the superstar level fans have been waiting for since Barry Bonds left in 1992.  While the Pirates have had All-Star players such as Brian Giles, Jason Bay, and Aramis Ramirez, since then, none of them have come close to the excitement McCutchen brings to every game.  He's the perfect balance of speed, power, coordination, athleticism and professionalism.
He's baseball's version of Sidney Crosby, if you will.  Maybe not in terms of his ceiling potential, but definitely in regards to the level of excitement, creating countless hold-your-breath moments.
In 125 bats this season, McCutchen has a .344/.404/.488 with five home runs and seven stolen bases.  After batting a solid .302 in April, 'Cutch has turned it up even further, hitting .436 in 12 games in May.  His performance has been lost in the shuffle with the Pirates' starting rotation continuing to dominate while the rest of the lineup compiles a league worst .219 average. 
This all coming after 6 year, $51.5 million contract in the offseason.  The Pirates paid for MVP numbers and, so far, the 25 year old has been able to produce just that.  In last night's win against the Washington Nationals, McCutchen went 2-4 with two monster home runs, the second coming after a spectacular acrobatic catch in the bottom half of the previous inning.  While Matt Kemp is still the early, overwhelming favorite to take the NL MVP title, McCutchen is at least in the conversation.
Another big step in Andrew McCutchen's development is an increase in his power numbers.  After posting 23 long balls, last season, McCutchen is currently on pace for about 25 home runs.  But if he continues to hit like he has in May, we could see #22 reach the 30 home run milestone; something another former Pirate outfielder didn't do until he was 25 years old.
Barry Bonds.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Gorkys Hernandez recalled; Evan Meek optioned to AAA

OF Gorkys Hernandez (#62) has been recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and RHP Evan Meek has been optioned to Indy. — Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) May 18, 2012   This a pretty surprising move. We all knew that Meek was most likely going to be sent back down to AAA-Indianapolis for this weekend’s series, but Gorkys Hernandez is not a name that was being thrown around by anyone...

Game 39 Live Chat: Pirates at Tigers

Pittsburgh Pirates Live Game Chat ©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved..

McDonald, McCutchen power Bucs past Nats

Final: Pirates 5, Nationals 3 WP: James McDonald (3-2, 2.68 ERA) LP: Jordan Zimmermann (2-4, 2.58 ERA) SV: Joel Hanrahan (8, 3.29 ERA) James McDonald was just straight dealing tonight. He pitched five no hit innings and ended the night giving up three runs in 5 2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts. Andrew McCutchen started things off in the 1st inning with an opposite field home...

Game 39 Live Chat: Pirates vs Tigers

Pirates Promote Gorkys Hernandez, Demote Evan Meek

I’m just going to come right out and say it.  I love the promotion of Gorkys Hernandez.  He should be given every opportunity to earn a starting role.  I also love Evan Meek being demoted.  Only because he just doesn’t have it. This was the correct move.  In fact this was the only move.  The [...]

Nearly a no-no

Despite their famous streak of futility, the Pirates somehow haven’t been no-hit since Bob Gibson did it in 1971. That’s the second-longest active streak in the league, behind only the Cubs (go figure – not that it means anything). You’d think that with all the terrible lineups they’ve sent out and all the great pitchers they’ve faced, it would happen eventually. They...

Bucs hope Presley regains stroke at Triple A

The Pirates' offense was so anemic Alex Presley, their fifth-best hitter, was demoted to the minor leagues.

What You Need to Know: Friday, May 18 by Daniel Rathman

The Thursday Takeaway Pirates starter James McDonald took home his third win of the season last night, but by the time he left the mound, he had been saddled with three runs in 5 2/3 innings—an outcome that belied his dominance of the Nationals in his team’s 5-3 win. The 27-year-old righty cruised through his first five innings, pounding the zone and missing plenty of bats...

Pirates 4, Tigers 3

Andrew McCutchen hit a pair of two-run homers and A.J. Burnett pitched six solid innings to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-3 win over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday. A day after Detroit's Justin Verlander took a no-hitter into the ninth while shutting out the Pirates, McCutchen went deep twice off Tigers rookie Drew Smyly (1-1). It was McCutchen's sixth career multihomer...

Tater Trot Tracker: Trot Times for May 17 by Larry Granillo

Adam Jones hit another home run on Thursday. So it goes. Let's get right to the trots! Home Run of the Day: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates #2 - 22.33 seconds [video] All the talk from this game seemed to center around starting pitcher James MacDonald, who had a fantastic game. He didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning and struck out 11 batters in only 5 â
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.