Sometime in 2009 it finally clicked in the collective Pirates brain that they needed to stop playing for now since they weren’t playing well for now anyway. And with that kernel of “ah-ha,” the Pirates sent McLousy off the plank and ushered in Andrew McCutchen, The Dread Pirate. The Dread Pirate proceeded to climb to the top of the sinking Pirate ship’s mast, tore a string from the Jolly Roger and swashbuckled his way into the hearts and minds of his fantasy owners and the seven Pirate season ticket holders. Ahoy, Jonesy, drive me in after I steal this base. Gar. And get me some mead, Ol’ Chumbucket! That’s you, Steven Pearce. You are Ol’ Chumbucket! Argh, don’t make me explain it. Yes, The Dread Pirate brought life where there wasn’t any for 2009, but what about in 2010 fantasy baseball, more of the same booty?
In 433 at-bats last year, McCutchen hit 12 homers with 22 steals while batting .286. Below those numbers, we see a guy who consistently hits the ball on the ground more than in the air in 2009 and 2008 (in Triple-A, his GB vs. FB percentages were 49.4 vs. 32.2). This is good for a guy who relies on his speed to get on base. The power he showed last year may be slightly fluky. After all, he did hit 8 homers in August, which seems extreme for him. I.e., I wouldn’t expect a huge gain in homers in 2010. Maybe 15 homers max. His walk rate was a bit high last year, but he did show a good eye for when he should/should not swing. With his speed and 15 homer power, he’s definitely a 2010 fantasy baseball keeper. Think 80/14/65/.275/35. For redraft leagues, The Dread Pirate can be someone who can provide more value than his draft spot, potentially taking a jump into the top 20 outfielders for 2010… Top 20 outfielders for 2010. Aye, me parrot concurs.