When it comes to fan voting, small market teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates usually find themselves on the outside looking in. This wasn’t the case, however, in the recent poll to determine the cover star of the new video game MLB 13: The Show.
Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, a rising superstar, was voted to represent MLB on the cover of Sony’s brand new release. The other nominees were New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia and 2012 Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera. Beating out any player from New York is impressive all by itself, but taking down Cabrera, the AL MVP, puts the accomplishment at another level.
McCutchen owes a good portion of his votes to an aggressive social media campaign, but still, his stat lines show that the honor is well deserved. McCutchen led the NL in hits last year with 194, and his .327 average ranked second only to the San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey. His 31 home runs in 2012 were the most by a Pirate since Jason Bay hit 35 in ’06. And with speed also playing a big part in his game, McCutchen has stolen at least 20 bases in all four of his MLB seasons.
The Pirates haven’t had a winning season in two decades, but Andrew McCutchen is hoping to help the team break that streak this year. By winning the recent fan vote, he’s proven that baseball fans not just in Pittsburgh, but across the entire country, are starting to take notice.