Now that Cutch's line 288/369/454/823 is commensurate to last years 286/365/471/823 I hope that Smizik et al will rethink their 'what's wrong with Andrew McCutchen pieces' and take a step back from the ledge. I think that his spring training and fast start set the bar high for our 2010 expectations. Certainly we'd all like to see him hit 20 homeruns and and steal 50 bases and improve his defense in CF (although how reflective his UZR is of his performance is obviously another matter), but he's twenty-three and in his first full major league season, and that he was able to maintain his performance from last year over a full season is in and of itself cause for enthusiasm. I mean look at Justin Upton, who while a few years younger, regressed significantly this year. The development curve isn't without dips and valleys (as has been discussed many times on this site). What's particularly encouraging to me is that McCutchen has improved his BB/SO ratio from .65 to .81, and since the All Star Break he's walked 30 times and struck out only 28. He's also improved his slugging and ops in the second half (to be fair this is helped by his recent hot streak, but the point I suppose is that he should assessed at years end, not just during a window of time in which he's struggling). I would say that I'm satisfied and enthusiastic about his development as a hitter. The only item of concern for me is his defense. Given his athleticism I think we've expected that he'd be an elite defender. I've not had a chance to watch a ton of games in the second half, but from what I've read it seems like while he'll never have a great arm but there's work to be done on route running, etc.
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