Tag Archives: Andrew McCutchen

Rating Every NL All-Star Selection

By: Jon

Catchers

Starter:

Yadier Molina

Yadier Molina
Yadier Molina

Good or Bad: Good

If Yasiel Puig does not continue to his torrid start, Molina has a good chance of winning the MVP. Along with being the best defensive catcher in the league by far, Yadier is a good hitter, leading the NL in average, .346, and doubles, 26. Molina is great because of how he can stop a running game and lead a pitching staff. He is the best catcher and deserves the right to start the All-Star game.

Reserve:

Buster Posey

Buster Posey
Buster Posey

Good or Bad: Good

Posey is easily the second best catcher in NL because of his hitting ability and defensive skill. Posey is top two in AVG, HR, RBI, OBP, SLG, OPS, and WAR. Although Posey is a better offensive player, Posey is not leading his team nor pitching staff like Molina, which leads to a lesser WAR.

First Base

Starter:

Joey Votto

Joey Votto
Joey Votto

Good or Bad: Votto should not be a starter, but should be an All-Star

Similar to the catching position, first base only has two great players that are worthy of becoming an All-Star. Votto is a great offensive player because he can reach base very easily. Votto on base percentage is .430, which is great for a player, who can hit home runs. Although Votto is not having a great year, he is batting .320, 15 HR, 40 RBI, and 61 Runs.

Reserve:

Paul Goldschmidt

Paul Goldschmidt
Paul Goldschmidt

Good or Bad: Should be starting

Paul is having a breakout season for the surprising Arizona Diamondbacks. Paul is leading the NL in WAR, OPS, SLG, SB, HR, and RBI. He is having a great season and should be starting for the NL. Paul is only 25 and will be one of the best players in the league for years to come.

Allen Craig

Allen Craig
Allen Craig

Good or Bad: Good

Although Craig did not have a good start to the season, he has picked it up as of late. Craig is leading the NL in batting among first basemen. Craig is top three in a lot of offensive categories such as Runs, RBI, AVG, SLG, OPS, and hits. Craig is the leading RBI man the Saint Louis Cardinals.

Second Baseman

Starter:

Brandon Phillips

Brandon Phillips
Brandon Phillips

Good or Bad: Should be a reserve

Phillips is one of the most consistent and dangerous second baseman in the league. Phillips is second in the NL in homers among second baseman, 12, and first in RBI by 25, 64. Brandon is the best defensive second baseman in the National League. Phillips is deserving of an All-Star candidate.

Reserve:

Matt Carpenter

Matt Carpenter
Matt Carpenter

Good or Bad: Should be the starter

Carpenter is having a breakout season and should be the starting second baseman. Carpenter has been a catalyst for the Cardinal offense, which is one of the best in baseball. It is amusing that he was not given the starting nod. He is first in almost every offensive category, runs, triples, doubles, hits, average, on base, slugging, on base plus slugging, and WAR.

Marco Scutaro

Marco Scutaro
Marco Scutaro

Good or Bad: Bad

Replacement: Starling Marte

Starling Marte
Starling Marte

Besides for a solid batting average, .313, he does not add much to an offense. He has hit 2 homers, 19 RBI, and 36 Runs. Marco is not a good defensive player, a negative defensive WAR. Marte is much more deserving of the All-Star bid. After his torrid start, Marte has slowed down, but still has great stats. Marte is fourth among outfielders in WAR, third in Runs, first in steals, and second in triples. Marte is a great defensive fielder, a 1.3 defensive WAR. Marte is a young star, who will make a lot of All-Star teams in the future.

Shortstop

Starter:

Troy Tulowitzki

Troy Tulowitzki
Troy Tulowitzki

Good or Bad: Good

Although Tulo has not played as many games as other players, Troy is one of the most dynamic players and deserved the starting nod. He will probably not play so he will not be taking a spot from another healthy player. Tulowitzki is leading shortstops in HR, RBI, AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, and WAR. Troy has been a great player and may be a Hall of Famer, if he does not hurt himself. Troy is also a great defensive player, fourth highest among shortstops in defensive WAR.

Reserve:

Jean Segura

Jean Segura
Jean Segura

Good or Bad: Good

Jean Segura, the prospect from the Zach Greinke trade, is having a great first half of the season. Jean has been one of the lone bright spots on the Milwaukee Brewers. Segura is top two among NL shortstops in Hits, Runs, 3B, SB, AVG, and WAR. He will do great in his first All-Star game and may even start if Tulo is hurt. Unlike other players, who are the only All-Stars for their respective team, Segura is a deserving All-Star.

Everth Cabrera

Everth Cabrera
Everth Cabrera

Good or Bad: Had to be on the team

Cabrera is the lone San Diego Padres representative. Although Cabrera should not be an All-Star, he is having the best season on the Padres. Everth could be used as a pitch-runner for the National League. He is one of the fast players in baseball, 31 steals, most in NL. Cabrera has a solid average, .291, and a defensive WAR, 0.4. Overall, he is fourth in the NL among shortstops, 2.7.

Third Base

Starter:

David Wright

David Wright
David Wright

Good or Bad: Good

Wright is the best third basemen in the National League. Wright’s WAR, 4.9, is more than twice the next closest competitor, 2.2. Wright is the leader of the Mets, so he had to be starting the game. Wright is leading NL third baseman in AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, WAR, SB, doubles, and triples. Wright is the most deserving candidate for the job.

Reserve:

Pedro Alvarez

Pedro Alvarez
Pedro Alvarez

Good or Bad: Bad

Replacement: Ryan Zimmerman

Ryan Zimmerman
Ryan Zimmerman

Although Pedro may have the most power in the National League, he is not a good all-around baseball player. Pedro has 22 HR, but is batting .247 and has a OBP of .310. Zimmerman is a better baseball player. Zimmerman has a higher AVG, Runs, OPS, double, BB, and WAR. Zimmerman does not strikeout as much as Alvarez, 68 versus 104. Zimmerman has a better WAR, which shows that he is more of a complete ballplayer.

Outfield

Starters:

Carlos Beltran

Carlos Beltran
Carlos Beltran

Good or Bad: Should be a reserve

Replacement: Carlos Gomez

The eight year All-Star is having another good season for the St.Louis Cardinals. Although he should not be a starter, Beltran has accumulated good stats during the first half. Beltran is batting .307 with 52 RBI, 19 HR, 47 R, and 1.8 WAR. Beltran’s stats and veteran leadership for the Cardinals make him definitely worthy of an All-Star nomination.

Carlos Gonzalez

Carlos Gonzalez
Carlos Gonzalez

Good or Bad: Good

Gonzalez is a great offensive and defensive player for the Colorado Rockies. Besides for supporting the second best WAR among the NL OF, Gonzalez ranks top five in Runs(1st), Hits(2nd), Doubles(5th), Triples(4th), Home Runs(1st), RBI(2nd), AVG(4th), OBP(5th), SLG(1st), and OPS(1st), As one can tell from the stats, Gonzalez is a great offensive player and is deserving of the starting nod.

Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper

Good or Bad: Bad

Replacement: Andrew McCutchen(starter) and Jay Bruce(reserve)

Although Harper is a great player, he has missed too many games to enter the All-Star game. Although people are complaining about Yasiel Puig, Bryce has only taken 50 AB more than Puig, which is 150 less than most All-Stars. When Harper plays on the field, he is a great and dynamic player. In 53 games, he hit 13 HR/ 29RBI/ 30Runs. Bryce Harper should not have been an All-Star, let alone a starter.

Reserve:

Carlos Gomez

Carlos Gomez
Carlos Gomez

Good or Bad: Should be starter

Gomez is having the best season of his career. Before this season, Gomez was remembered for robbing Yadier Molina in the 2007 NLCS. Gomez is leading the league in WAR by a full point, 5.5 verse 4.5, among outfielders. Gomez is having a complete year, .308 AVG/13 HR/41 RBI/49 R/20 SB/9 3B.  After his stellar first half, Gomez should be starting, instead of Beltran.

Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen
Andrew McCutchen

Good or Bad: Should be starter

Andrew could be the NL MVP, if the Pirates maintain their success and he continues to be great. McCutchen is a great hitter and fielder. McCutchen is second in WAR because of his .302 AVG, 9 HR, 46 RBI, 53 R, 18 SB, and 25 Doubles. Andrew is a great defensive player because of his speed and instincts, which leads to his 1.1 DWAR. McCutchen is the only superstar on the first place Pittsburgh Pirates. He should be rewarded by gaining the All-Star start.

Domonic Brown

Domonic Brown
Domonic Brown

Good or Bad: Good

Dominic Brown is having a coming party for the Philadelphia Phillies. Although the Phillies are not having a great season, Brown has been great. Brown showed his great power and ability to accumulate RBI. Brown is first in the league in runs batted in and second in home runs. Unlike most power hitters, Brown has a decent batting average, .282. This will be the first of many All-Star appearances for the Phillies switching hitting outfielder.

Michael Cuddyer

Michael Cuddyer
Michael Cuddyer

Good or Bad: Good

During the middle of the season, Cuddyer had a 27 game hitting streak, which propelled his reputation and average. Cuddyer is leading the whole National League in average. Along with his great average, Cuddyer has accounted for 15 home runs, 52 RBI, 43 Runs, and 6 stolen bases. Although I do not expect Cuddyer to maintain his great first half, Cuddyer is deserving of his second All-Star nod.

Jay Bruce

Jay Bruce
Jay Bruce

Currently not on the roster

Bruce should be the reserve right fielder for the NL All-Star squad. After a disappointing first quarter of the season, Bruce has significantly rebounded. Bruce is a RBI and power hitting machine for the Reds. Bruce is fourth in HR and third in RBI among NL outfielders. Although his average is not great, .261, his ability to hit the ball out of the ball park and produce runs makes him an All-Star. Bruce is a steady defensive ball player, 0.4 DWAR and a 1.000 fielding percentage.

Pitchers

Starters:

Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner
Madison Bumgarner

Good or Bad: Good

The first time All-Star is turning into the ace of the San Francisco Giants. Madison is 9-5 and supports a solid ERA and WHIP. Although Madison does not have a great ERA, 3.05, he has the fourth best WHIP in the National League, 0.97. Bumgarner is a good strikeout pitcher as well, averaging nine strikeouts per nine innings. Bumgarner will appear in many All-Stars because of his devastating strikeout and curveball.

Patrick Corbin

Patrick Corbin
Patrick Corbin

Good or Bad: Good

Corbin is having a great rookie season for the surprising Arizona Diamondbacks. Corbin is currently 10-1. Corbin’s stats, 2.40 ERA and 0.98 WHIP, have shown his dominance for the Diamondbacks. Although Patrick has not struck out many batters, he is mature for his age and knows how to pitch. Since opponents have been unable to solve Corbin, Corbin should improve during the second half of the season.

Jose Fernandez

Jose Fernandez
Jose Fernandez

Good or Bad: Good

Fernandez is another rookie sensation, who has a bright future. Jose is the only player on the Marlins, who had an All-Star worthy first half. Jose had only five wins, even though he had a 2.83 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. Jose’s dominant stuff allows him to strikeout more than 9 batters per 9 innings. Along with Jacob Turner, the Marlins will have a good 1-2 punch for years to come.

Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey
Matt Harvey

Good or Bad: Good

The crown jewel of the young starters had a great first half of the season. Some believe that Harvey is the best in the majors. Harvey has three excellent pitches, which allows him to dominate hitters. Harvey maintained a 2.35 ERA and 0.92 WHIP, during his first half. Harvey has the most strikeouts in the National League. He would be a great selection to start the All-Star game at his home park.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw

Good or Bad: Good

In my opinion, Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball and should be starting the All-Star game. Kershaw has the lowest WHIP, 0.90, and ERA, 1.89, in the league, while having the highest WAR, 5.3. Kershaw ranks second in innings pitched and strikeouts. Kershaw should have a lot more than 8 wins. Kershaw is a future Hall of Famer and should be the starter and Cy Young Award winner for the National League.

Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee
Cliff Lee

Good or Bad: Good

Cliff has been one of the most consistent and dominant pitchers over the last 5 years. After a down year, Lee has 10 wins while pitching to a 2.73 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and 4.4 WAR. Although Lee does not have great strikeout totals, 119 K, he can locate all his pitches, which makes batters look silly. Lee is best during the playoffs, 2.52 ERA. Lee is one of the most mature and mentally tough pitchers in MLB.

Jeff Locke

Jeff Locke
Jeff Locke

Good or Bad: Good

Locke is an underrated pitcher, who had a great first half of the season. The 25 year-old lefty has the second lowest ERA in the majors, 2.15 ERA. Jeff Locke is ranked top 15 among NL starters in WHIP, 1.13, and 2.7 WAR. Locke has been the leader of the Pirates pitching staff, which has been incredible this season. Although Locke will not continue his 2.15 ERA, he should be given the All-Star nomination.

Adam Wainwright

Adam Wainwright
Adam Wainwright

Good or Bad: Good

Wainwright is a great pitcher because of his ability to control all of his pitches. Wainwright does not walk batters. Adam strikes out 9 batters for every batter he walks, which is highest since 2010, Cliff Lee’s 10.28 SO/BB. Along with his stellar 0.99 WHIP and 2.30 ERA, Wainwright is leading the league in innings, shutouts, and complete games. Wainwright is one of the best pitchers in the game and should be in this All-Star game.

Travis Wood

Travis Wood
Travis Wood

Good or Bad: Good

Wood is the Cubs lone All-Star. Wood is ranked top ten in ERA, 2.69, WHIP, 0.97, and WAR, 3.3. Even though Wood has a great ERA, Wood has only 6 wins for the disgraceful Chicago Cubs. Wood, similar Locke, does not have great strikeout number and will not continue his 2.69 ERA, but he should be pitching in New York for the Mid-Summer Classic.

Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
Jordan Zimmermann

Good or Bad: Good

Although the Nationals have Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann has been their best starter. Zimmermann is ranked top seven in ERA, WHIP, Innings, and WAR. Zimmermann had been extremely underrated for the Washington Nationals, but he is finally gaining popularity and respect. Zimmermann will go to many future All-Star games because of his great stuff and control. Zimmermann has only walked 18 men this season.

Relievers

Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman
Aroldis Chapman

Good or Bad: Bad

Replacement: Edward Mujica

Edward Mujica
Edward Mujica

The hardest throwing closer in MLB is having another great season for the Cincinnati Reds. However, Edward Mujica should be have given the nod instead of the Cuban Missile. Besides for strikeouts, Mujica has a better ERA, WHIP, Saves, Innings, less Blown Saves, less BB, and less runs allowed. Although Chapman’s strikeout totals are impressive, Mujica has been a more effective and steady than Aroldis during the first half of the season.

Jason Grilli

Jason Grilli
Jason Grilli

Good or Bad: Good

Grilli has been great for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season. Without Grilli, the Pirates would not be first in the NL Central. Grilli leads closers in WHIP, Saves, Strikeouts, and Save Conversion Percentage. Grilli’s overpowering fastball has made Pirates’ fans forget about All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan. Grilli’s success has given confidence and allowed their other relievers to become comfortable and impressive.

Craig Kimbrel

Craig Kimbrel
Craig Kimbrel

Good or Bad: Good

Kimbrel is one of the most dynamic relief pitchers in baseball. Although he does not have the same strikeout numbers as last year, Kimbrel has been as effective. Kimbrel has the lowest ERA, 1.62, only allowing 6 runs this whole season. Kimbrel has the chance to be a lesser version of Mariano Rivera and may even challenge his all-time save number. Although he will never be as good as Rivera, Kimbrel is a great closer and is only 25 years-old.

Stats and pic from espn.com

Do the Pirates have enough to finish above .500?

By: Jon

When people awoke this morning, they saw that the Pittsburgh Pirates had the best record in baseball. Many of them are probably thinking, “How could this be true? The Pirates have not finished a season over .500 in the last 20 years!” There is no typo. The Pirates have one of the most talented rosters as well as a consistent rotation and bullpen. The Pirates may only have one superstar, but every player on their roster feels like they are an All-Star. The Pirates are the first team to 50 wins, although the player with the highest batting average is rookie pitcher Gerrit Cole, .333. The Pirates have been winning because of their pitching. Many people only know starters AJ Burnett and Francisco Liriano because of their past success and failure. Although Burnett and Liriano have been solid starters, the Pirates’ best pitcher has been Jeff Locke. During his first full season, Locke has won seven games and compiled a 2.06 ERA. The Pirates have 3 starters with an ERA less than 3.15, Locke, Burnett, Liriano. However, the current and future ace of the staff is Gerrit Cole. Cole was the first overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft and has a 100 mph fastball with a devastating slider. He made his major league debut league on June 11. Since his debut, Cole has yet to lose or give up more than 3 runs. However, like most young pitchers, Cole has not pitched deep into many starts, averaging 6 innings per start.

Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole

The most unlikely of all the Pirates’ stars is Jason Grilli. After trading away their All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan to the Red Sox, Jason Grilli assumed the position with few expectations. However, Grilli has taken the league by storm, converting 27 of his 28 save opportunities. Grilli has a 1.77 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and 58 K. Along with Grilli, Mark Melancon is having a breakout season, solidifying the back end of the Pirates bullpen. Mark may have better stats than Grilli, 0.86 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 43 K. ¬†Also, the Pirates have a solid lefty reliever, Justin Wilson. Although Wilson’s stats are not comparable to Melancon or Grilli’s stats, he has been an effective lefty specialist, 2.23 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 39 K.

Jason Grilli
Jason Grilli

Although the Pirates do not resemble the Yankee’s Murder’s Row lineup, they are able to score enough runs to win. The Pirates offense is led by superstar Andrew McCutchen. Andrew is having another great season, .293, 50 runs and 41 RBI. The Pirates may have an Andrew McCutchen clone in Starling Marte. The rookie outfield is having a great season, .283, 22 SB, and 51 runs. The Pirates are able to balance out their lineup because of Pedro Alvarez. The three year veteran is a home run machine. Alvarez is third in the National League in homers and many people think he has the most power in the league. Pirates’ fans may be hesitant about their team because they do not have a great lineup, like Cincinnati or St. Louis. However, if their pitching maintains its dominance, the Pirates will have their first over .500 season in the last 20 years and possibly make the playoffs.

Andrew McCutchen
Andrew McCutchen

Stats and pics from ESPN.com