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McCutchen honored to be elected to AFL Hall

PITTSBURGH -- Add another accolade to Andrew McCutchen's growing collection. The former National League MVP was elected on Wednesday to the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame.

Many elite prospects have called the Fall League home at some point in their careers, and that was the case for McCutchen as a 20-year-old coming off his third professional season in the Pirates' Minor League system.

McCutchen helped lead the Phoenix Desert Dogs to the AFL championship in 2007, batting .286 with a .758 OPS and eight stolen bases in 29 games.

"I guess it's a pretty big deal. I was only 20, 21 there. We had a really good team," McCutchen said Wednesday. "We had some really great pitchers on our staff who are having amazing careers."

His teammates included future big leaguers like Nyjer Morgan, Cliff Pennington, Trevor Plouffe and Nolan Reimold. The pitching staff had some Major League talent as well, including then-Pirates righty Jesse Chavez and Cubs starter Jake Arrieta.

"I was just happy to be a part of a team like that," McCutchen said. "Honestly, I don't even know how well I did there. It was so long ago. It's a tremendous accolade."

McCutchen, a five-time NL All-Star and the 2013 NL MVP Award winner, has already won three NL Silver Slugger Awards and one NL Gold Glove Award in his first six seasons. McCutchen is the sixth player in Pittsburgh's franchise history to hit 100 home runs and steal 100 bases.

McCutchen will go into the AFL's Hall of Fame alongside Phillies second baseman Chase Utley. The Hall of Fame was formed in 2001 to honor the top Major League players and managers to have been a part of the league.

"At 28, Andrew McCutchen is one of the youngest players to merit AFL Hall of Fame consideration and election," AFL director Steve Cobb said in a statement. "He has become one of baseball's elite players in a very short time. Chase Utley is one of the most potent offensive performers in the history of Major League second basemen. It is an honor to welcome both players to the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame."

Adam Berry is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.
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