If this were a Meatloaf song, the title, “Andrew McCutchen, 2017 Fantasy Schmohawk,” would have this “Betting Against The Bounce Back” in parenthesis. Some overrated posts are preordained by the man above, some posts are preordained by the men below. This post is for the men below. Those men are the ones in the comments touting how great Andrew McCutchen still is. I think people get confused by fantasy in the most general sense. I don’t dislike guys personally (okay, Daniel Murphy is the exception that proves the rule). McCutchen seems like a great guy. I’d buy him a beer if I ever saw him. Of course, the beer would get returned to me with the note, “McCutchen only drinks Glenfiddich. He is Scottish, after all.” In real life, I want him to have a long and productive life. May his walks on the beach be accompanied by a loved one and some crutches. For fantasy, I want McCutchen to fail miserably. I want his bounce back to go about as well as the yodeller’s on The Price is Right when the contestant is more than $25 over the actual retail price. Anyway, why is Andrew McCutchen overrated for 2017 fantasy baseball?
Well, he’s overrated because people expect a bounce back, so let’s look at what he did last year, which wasn’t good, and see how he’s trending this year. His stat line last year: 81/24/79/.256/6. OBP (.336) and SLG (.430) were miserable too, on par with J.T. Realmuto and Brandon Crawford. Lowercase yay. But, of course, this is about what he can do this year and not how dreckful he was last year. Dreckful is a word, don’t Google it. He swung at more pitches outside the strike zone (25.4%) and inside the strike zone (71.4%) than the previous year. He also made more contact (76.8%) and saw more pitches inside the strike zone. Essentially, he was swinging at good and bad pitches and pitchers were challenging him more. I.e., “We don’t need no stinkin’ base on balls with McCutchen.” I.e. added, “Now eat a D.” His hard contact percentage was 35.8%, his lowest since he became a star, and his soft contact hit rate was 19.7%, the highest percentage in his career. Not great, but, wait, it gets worse! He pulled 44.8% of pitches. So, he could muscle them out still, right? Well, sorta. His homers last year only went 395 feet on average, which is not good. He had ten homers that were of the Just Enough variety. Chris Carter had ten homers that were Just Enoughs, but Chris Carter hit 41 homers! 24 homers total and ten of them were lucky? McCutchen has a few deep flies come up just short this year and he’s suddenly an 18 homer guy. The steals? They’ve been gone. McClutchin’ His Knee stole six bags last year and was caught seven times. It’s admirable that he seems to play through injury, but it’s costing him production. He only hit .256 last year, and maybe that comes up a tad if his BABIP rebounds (it was .297 last year and he’s regularly been a .330 BABIP guy), but hitting the ball softer and not running as well are not two things that make a BABIP go up. I like his lineup with Josh Bell in front of him and Marte behind him, but Bell is no guarantee and Marte doesn’t exactly drive guys in. Marte is really a number two hole hitter that C**nt Hurdle has dressed up like a cleanup hitter. Not sure what bathroom that means he should use either. Listen (read), I like McCutchen and he seems like a nice chap that wears kilts to formal functions, but I would not draft him, unless ‘Enjoys Bagpipes’ was a category in my league.