Spring Training Game 4: Bucs/Yanks Live Blog

Final score: New York 4, Pittsburgh 3. If you’re reading the log after the conclusion of the game, you’re going to want to start from the bottom and scroll to the top. I’ll provide a recap later tonight. 3:45: Bautista pops to Cannizaro at second. Veras works the count to 0-2 on Kelly. Don flies out to Thompson in right-center to end the game. Another heartbreaker for the Bucs. 3:43: Doumit doubles into the gap, and de Caster is held...

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Prospect Profile: Andrew McCutchen

There’s enough info on McCutchen to write a decent-sized book, so I’ll play the role of gatherer and bring it all together for you. I won’t pretend to know more than the average fan (although I’ll do something most Pittsburghers won’t when I track Andrew down at Altoona this April):
From The Baseball Cube:
D.O.B.: October 10, 1986
5’11″, 175 lbs.
B/T: R/R
Draft: 1st round (11th overall), 2005

Yr Level G AB HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
05 GCL 45 158 2 30 .297 .411 .430
  A- 13 52 0 5 .346 .443 .442
06 A 114 453 14 62 .291 .356 .446
  AA 20 78 3 12 .308 .379 .474
Tot.   192 741 19 109 .298 .377 .445

Wikipedia on McCutchen‘s 2006 season:

The start of 2006, saw Andrew attend his first major league spring training with the Pirates in Bradenton, FL. After spring training, McCutchen was sent to the Pirates Low Single-A affliate, the Hickory Crawdads. He hit … and was selected for the league’s All-Star game along with fellow Pirates’ prospects Brent Lillibridge and Brad Corley.
On August 15, 2006, Andrew was promoted to the Double-A Altoona Curve of the Eastern League in Altoona, PA. He was even more dominate in Double-A than in Low Single-A, which is surprising considering he skipped the Pirates’ Hi-A Lynchburg Hillcats squad. McCutchen was the youngest player to ever play for the Curve at the age of 19. Upon arriving in Altoona, he hit a homerun in his first home game for the Curve.

On September 30, he was named the Pirates Minor League Player of the Year along with Tom Gorzelanny, who won Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Andrew was also unanimously selected by scouts and managers as the #1 Prospect in the South Atlantic League.

WTM:

McCutchen was considered one of the strongest tools players in the 2005 draft. He’s very fast and a legitimate CF with a good arm. He’s not just a tools guy, though, as he was considered very advanced and possibly close to the majors for a HS prospect. The two possible drawbacks with him were questions about his power and the fact that he faced weak competition in HS. He hit for more power than expected during the 2005 HS season, however, and could have moderate power in the majors, although that issue will continue to linger due to his size.

Project Prospect:

It hasn?t taken Andrew McCutchen, who is now 20, long to realize his potential at all. The centerfielder is an exciting athlete that does a great job of finding his way onto the base paths (career OBP: .377). McCutchen also keeps developing as a power threat as his slugging percentage has increased as he advances to each higher level. He will continue to develop at a rapid pace and Pirates fans should get ready to hear Andrew McCutchen?s name being announced as the team?s starting center fielder as early as this coming September.

McCutchen himself (via MinorLeagueBaseball.com):

“The coaches and [Pirates manager] Jim Tracy know I’m a pretty good baseball player,” McCutchen said. “I still go out there and treat every day like it’s a game of baseball. I don’t look at the level of baseball. I just look at baseball in itself. There might be some things I might have to work on at the time … but they know that I can adjust.”
Things such as learning different pitchers’ and catchers’ timing, which McCutchen agreed would come with age and experience.
“I’m kind of like a baby, just growing up and trying to learn,” he said. “I’m sure when I get it down, I’ll be stealing bases like it’s nothing.
“There’s no pressure on me now, I’m just going out there, and I’m having even more fun than last year.”

And, of course, my analysis of his 2007 Grapefruit League debut:

You can?t ask for much more from a top prospect. He led off for the Pirates and hit a homer on the third pitch he saw. In his next at bat, he doubled into the gap. Cutch finished the day at 2 for 4, and will get a long look this spring before opening the year with Double A Altoona.

So this September, the Pirates’ outfield will be infused with speed, power and defense. I can’t wait.

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Favorite Live Moments at PNC

Because I live so far away, I’ve only seen 14 games in person at PNC. Despite some poor Pirate teams, I’ve had decent luck when it comes to seeing things I’ll always remember. Here are the most memorable things from each of those games. Bucs Test Vlad’s Arm, Twice June 23, 2001 Pirates 7 – Expos 4 My first ever game at PNC. Bucs vs Expos. My brother and I are down the right field line and get to watch the...

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Spring Training Recap: Pirates vs. Braves

Just like yesterday: You can find the transcript of my live blog here, Dejan’s story at the Post-Gazette here and the mothership’s recap here. The Studs 1. John Smoltz, Atlanta Showed up with his Cy Young stuff. Pirates couldn’t do anything against him. 2. Ian Snell, Pittsburgh Ditto. Didn’t expect to see Ian throwing so well so early. He made Chipper and Andruw look average. 3. Bryan Bullington, Pittsburgh...

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Tribe Trivia– answers

If you haven’t seen the questions yet, scroll down and read the questions first!
1.� Who was the Indy Indians’ MVP in 2006?
Carlos Maldonado– He finished the season with .283 AVG, 6 HR, 47 RBI, including 24 multi-hit games and a 14-game hitting streak in July.� He had the top fielding percentage of the International League catchers:� .996.� He was also the Player of the Month in June.�
2. Who was the Indy Indians’ MVP in 2005?� What team did he play for in 2006?
Cesar Crespo — In 2005, he hit for a .261 AVG, with 9 HR, 51 RBI, and 31 stolen bases.� In 2006, Crespo played with the Richmond Braves.� He hit for a .239 AVG, with 5 HR, 29 RBI, and 15 stolen bases.
3. Who was the Indy Indians’ MVP in 1984?� What is he doing now?
Razor Shines — In 1984, he hit .282 AVG, with 18 HR and 60 RBI.� He was promoted to the Montreal Expos, where he played in 12 games, hitting .300 AVG with 2 RBI in 20 at-bats.� In 2006, Shines managed the Charlotte Knights.� He is currently listed as the third base coach for the Chicago White Sox.
4. Who was the last Indians’ MVP to also be�the League MVP for that season?
Roberto Petagine — In 1998, Petagine was both the Indy Indians’s MVP and the International League MVP.� That year, he hit for a .331 AVG, with 24 HR and 109 RBI with the Indians.� He was promoted to the Cincinnati Reds and played with them for 24 games.� In 62 at-bats, he hit .258 AVG with 3 HR and 7 RBI.� From 1999 through 2004, Petagine played in Japan.� He returned to US baseball in 2005, playing for the Pawtucket Red Sox and Boston Red Sox.� In 2006, he played for the Tacoma Rainiers and the Seattle Mariners.
Go Tribe!

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On Nady's Colon

Warning – more information than you might want to know about me ahead With Xavier Nady temporarily sidelined getting medical advice about his inflammed colon, I thought I’d chime in. Xavier, I feel your pain. He was scheduled to have a colonoscopy done and as a veteran of two of those procedures, I can say without doubt that he wasn’t having a good time while he was away. Hopefully the doctors will come up with a...

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