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Friday, August 31, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: ANDREW McCUTCHEN GETS NEW FANTASY LIFE AFTER BEING MOVED TO YANKEES

While he is still just 31 year of age, you always got the feeling that former veteran outfielder (and also former MVP) Andrew McCutchen was an OLD 31.  The reason for this is that McCutchen's mid-20's were so spectacular in terms of him putting up superstar five-tool numbers, that once he got a bit older and reached his 30's, the inevitable decline in some skills categories made him seem older than he really was.  So while McCutchen remains a very good MLB player, his fantasy baseball status has fallen to that of an OF 3 and honestly OF 1 numbers have not been seen here since 2015.  Having been moved to the San Francisco Giants prior to the season was certainly not the best things for his 2018 outlook given the pitching-leaning tendencies of the ballpark and we have seen so far in his age-31 campaign that some clear slippage remains part of the McCutchen equation. 

Alas, McCutchen received some new life late Thursday and it came in the form of being traded by the Giants to the New York Yankees who have a crying need for an outfielder ever since losing Aaron Judge five weeks ago.  McCutchen will slip right into rightfield for the Yankees and he carries to the New York the following numbers:

.255
15 HR
55 RBI
65 R
13 SB
12.9 BB/9
21.7 K/9
.309 BABIP

As you can see, the numbers are decent but nothing to go crazy about.  On thre plus side, a 15/13 ratio in the homers/steal categories is a very underrated tally and in fact, the 13 steals are the most McCutchen has collected since his 18 in 2014.  It is nice to see McCutchen still run at the age of 31 but his days of stealing 20 (last done in 2013) are finished.  And in terms of the power, McCutchen has dropped off more than a bit there this season (after smacking 28 a year ago) but a lot of blame goes to his previous locale in San Fran.  Moving to Yankees Stadium will do nothing but add a few homers to McCutchen's ledger and he should get a mental boost as well. 

Now as far as the negatives, the 21.7 K/9 is the second time in three seasons McCutchen has gone over 20.0 in that category and that surely coincides with an average that has slipped to .256, .279, and current .255 this season.  While McCutchen is still drawing a very high amount of walks, his overall hitting ability is slipping a bit.

Finally, you can see the loss of speed in McCutchen not only in the slip in steals but also in his erosion in BABIP.  A .309 BABIP is almost neutral and so McCutchen has earned his .255 average so far this season.  Also consider his BABIP has been .297, .305, and .309 the last two seasons-plus after being in the middle .300 area code during his MVP days. 

So in the end, Andrew McCutchen gets a nice boost going to New York where he could be an OF 2 the last month of the season.  Ride him out or pick him up as he could be headed for a solid finish to what has been an uneven season. 


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