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McCutchen snags first Gold Glove in career year

Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen put up MVP-caliber numbers offensively this season, but on Tuesday night it was his defensive prowess that earned him his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award.

McCutchen made just one error this season and finished second among National League center fielders with a .997 fielding percentage. Only the Cardinals' Jon Jay, who had a perfect percentage -- but played 40 less games than McCutchen -- had a better mark.

The Pirates' center fielder edged out two other nominees -- Cincinnati's Drew Stubbs and Atlanta's two-time Gold Glove winner Michael Bourn -- for the honor. The Gold Glove Awards are decided annually by voting among managers and coaches, none of whom can vote for their own players.

"Honored to have won the Gold Glove! To be a part of this elite class of defenders means so much to me. Hard work is paying off!" McCutchen tweeted after the awards were announced Tuesday night.

With the award, McCutchen becomes the Pirates' seventh Gold Glove outfielder in franchise history and the first since Nate McLouth in 2008.

Though the Pirates faded down the stretch and missed the postseason, there were still some monumental 2012 moments for McCutchen.

In early March, the 26-year-old outfielder signed a six-year, $51.5 million extension. With a long-term deal signed before the season even started, McCutchen went out and proved why the Pirates committed to all-around talent.

He was selected as a National League All-Star for the second straight season and also competed in the State Farm Home Run Derby in Kansas City. Ultimately, he finished the year hitting .327 with 31 home runs, 96 RBIs and 20 stolen bases while playing in 157 games. He also led the National League with 194 hits.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Andrew McCutchen