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Andrew McCutchen Gets The Call

Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen made his big league debut today, as a direct result of the Nate McLouth trade.  McCutchen figures to get every chance to stick as a regular.  In his debut today, he went 2 for 4 with a walk, an RBI, three runs scored, and a stolen base.  A fantasy baseball bonanza.  Let's take a closer look.

McCutchen, 22, hit .303/.361/.493 in 201 Triple A at-bats this year with 4 HR and 10 SB.  He's a right-handed hitter, and this year he's raked against lefties while holding his own against righties.  The Major League Equivalent of McCutchen's work this year is .259/.306/.405.  McCutchen spent all of last year in Triple A, as well as a short stint in '07.  He didn't show a ton of power in 2007-08.  Even if McCutchen isn't amazing as a rookie hitter, he could post a decent run total atop the Pirates' lineup.

Sometimes with stud prospects you have to look past the stats to see the breakout potential.  Hanley Ramirez didn't impress in Double A, but he had a huge fantasy rookie season the following year.  McCutchen's been young for his levels.  But using the information we have available, he isn't a power hitter yet.  He's also not a high-percentage basestealer.  I'm keeping my mixed league expectations low for 2009.



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