In 2012, Andrew McCutchen was the man for the Pittsburgh Pirates for the first four months of the season. The final two months he was simply a good ball player. Even with that drop off in production McCutchen finished third in the National League MVP voting. If he had kept up his initial pace he may have beat out eventual winner Buster Posey. The good news for Pirates fans is that he could be even better in 2013.
McCutchen is just 26 years old and entering his fifth season in the majors. Most baseball people believe that players peak at the age of 27, so going by that logic McCutchen has a good shot at continuing to improve. He is the complete package he can hit for average and for power, is a Gold Glove center fielder and has some speed to round it all out.
If he could lead the Pirates to a playoff berth that would be big in the eyes of many voters. Since the Pirates have been so hopeless for so long it would be quite the accomplishment. I believe the Pirates have an outside shot a wild card spot, especially if their pitching staff gets healthy. McCutchen might also catch a break in his chase for the MVP because one of the favorites, Ryan Braun, might have to sit down for a 50 game stretch if the investigation of the Biogenesis Clinic turns up any evidence that he cheated and used performance enhancing drugs.
When the season comes to a close I think the Pirates will have their first MVP since Barry Bonds in 1992–that is as long as a MLB the Show cover jinx doesn’t sprout up. With the Pirates’ luck, that just might happen.