McCutchen wins fourth straight Silver Slugger
PITTSBURGH -- Andrew McCutchen etched his name into the Pirates' history book once again Thursday night. Pittsburgh's star center fielder received his fourth Silver Slugger Award, the most ever won by a Pirates player.
This is the fourth straight year that McCutchen has earned a Silver Slugger Award, presented by Louisville Slugger. Barry Bonds took home three straight for the Pirates from 1990-92, and pitcher Rick Rhoden won three in a row from 1984-86.
McCutchen saw some of his numbers dip slightly this year, mostly the result of a month-long slump in April, but he was still one of the Majors' best offensive outfielders -- and he has the hardware to prove it.
McCutchen hit .292/.401/.488 with 23 home runs and a career-high-tying 96 RBIs. He also set a career high with 98 walks, a testament to his patience at the plate and his status in the Pirates' lineup.
Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper and Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez joined McCutchen as the National League's Silver Slugger Award-winning outfield trio.
McCutchen finished with the third-highest OPS (.889) among qualified NL outfielders, trailing only Harper (1.109) and D-backs left fielder David Peralta (.893). He had the fourth-highest RBI total among NL outfielders, behind Matt Kemp (100), Harper (99) and Gonzalez (97).
McCutchen was at his best this year with runners in scoring position, batting .361 in those situations, the third-highest mark in the NL. Toward the end of the season, opposing pitchers simply avoided McCutchen, as he drew 18 walks in an 11-game stretch from Sept. 19-30.
After batting .185 through his first 25 games, McCutchen stood in front of his locker at PNC Park on May 5 and vowed he'd be better.
Sure enough, McCutchen kept his promise. From May 6 until the end of the season, he batted .312 with a .949 OPS in 132 games.
"He had to deal with adversity as well. He showed up through that," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of McCutchen earlier this year. "When your best player is arguably one of your hardest-working players, it makes everyone's job on the periphery easier."