There are some players who are able to fly under the radar some playing outside of the larger markets in Major League Baseball. The obvious superstar in this category would be Andrew McCutchen for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates have come to depend on McCutchen to lead their offense and while Pittsburgh has improved greatly over the last two years, it is going to be up to players like McCutchen to take it to the next level.
Pittsburgh has had two straight years of great first-half play before faltering greatly in the second half of the year. The Pirates have added Russell Martin in the offseason to add some more punch to the lineup but this is McCutchen’s team. McCutchen needs players like Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker to continue stepping up their games as well if the Pirates want to finally break through and make the playoffs for the first time since 1992. It would be a goal to just make it to .500 as well since the team hasn’t done that either in 21 years.
McCutchen is obviously the kingpin for any success in Pittsburgh and with the fans slowly filling PNC Park up in recent years, McCutchen is going to need all the help he can get to bring a playoff berth back to town. The National League Central isn’t exactly a runaway by any means in my opinion so Pittsburgh has a real chance to win the division. It is a two-team race there with the Pirates and Cincinnati Reds but if McCutchen and the others can play above their talents, it could be the year for Pittsburgh.