No, really, everything.
Andrew McCutchen leads the Pirates in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs, runs batted in, runs scored, walks (tied with Neil Walker), doubles, triples and stolen bases.
Root Sports Pittsburgh points out that he’s the first player to lead a team in all of those categories this late into the season since the Astros’ Jose Cruz in 1984.
With a .342/.397/.586 line, McCutchen currently ranks sixth in the NL in OPS. He’s a big reason the Pirates are just two games back of the Reds in the NL Central, and he’d have to be in the top five in NL MVP balloting at the moment. Personally, I’d probably put him third behind Joey Votto and R.A. Dickey.
There is one word of warning here, though: McCutchen also appeared to be in the midst of a breakthrough season at this time last year, only to disappoint in the second half. He’s performing better now than he was then, but he needs to keep it going for a full year to truly establish himself as a superstar.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central
Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?
As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East
The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.
There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.
Here’s how each team breaks down:
New York Mets