The “Mc” Effect, McLouth vs. McCutchen

On June 3rd the Pirates made a trade with the Atlanta Braves that sent away All-Star and Gold Glover Nate McLouth. This trade cleared the way for Andrew McCutchen. Since the trade, there have been around 40 games for each player (42 for Cutch, 38 for Clouth). So let’s go back and review the time since June 3rd and see how this has been working out for both teams. 

Andrew McCutchen, The Pirate: 

Cutch has burst onto the major league scene, attracting nation wide attention. He’s a 5-tool player and quickly turning into one of the league’s most dynamic center fielders. His defense is fantastic and he has shown great signs at the plate. The best part of his game is his speed, he might be the fastest guy in baseball (alright, that’s probably a stretch with guys like Carl Crawford, Michael Bourn, and Willie Taveras in the league, but I can dream).

Nate McLouth, The Brave:

McLouth was the Braves plan to make a run for the playoffs. They felt they needed a player like him on their roster to really put them over the top and compete with the Mets and Phillies. He’s played 38 games with the Braves, and is having a similar season with them as he did with us, hitting for low average with decent power numbers and solid defense. Nate certainly isn’t as great as he was last year at this time, but he is definitely helping the Braves out.

Here are the numbers for each player SINCE June 3rd (courtesy of baseball-reference.com):
McLouthstats.png
McCutch stats.png
Looking at the numbers, McCutchen has been a much better player than McLouth. He is hitting 38 points higher in average, with 8 more RBI. Granted he has 20 more at bats. Surprisingly, McCutchen only has 2 fewer homers since McLouth in that time, and he has a higher slugging percentage and OPS. Cutch has stolen 4 more bases than McLouth, which certainly isn’t a surprise. McLouth even got thrown out trying to steal, which rarely happens with him. Cutch is still a perfect 9/9 in steal attempts.

Now let’s take a look at the “clutch” stats, which measures how well the players perform in crucial situations. 

McCutchen: with RISP – .387


McLouth (on season, not since trade): with RISP – .317 

Pay no attention to the highlighting there, it doesn’t mean anything significant. There isn’t too much interesting data here, but you can see Cutch has batted 35 points higher in “late and close” games. McCutchen has been getting hits in big situations. Nate McLouth has been okay in clutch situations, but he fails to compare to McCutchen. 
As far as fielding goes, it’s probably too small of a sample size to tell anything. McCutchen has a fielding percentage of .981 with 2 errors and 3 assists. If you are a Pirate fan and watch the games, you know that there have been times that McCutchen looked kind of shy out there. It’s rare for a rookie to have a lot of confidence out there in center and go out and try to make great catches, and McCutchen definitely held back a couple times this year. You can tell his confidence is growing out there and we are going to start seeing him making some great plays in the gaps. He has already made numerous catches on balls over his head. The guy’s speed in centerfield is second to none, he can get to balls that only a handful of guys in the league can get to. As for McLouth, he’s made 1 errors with the Braves and has a fieldingi percentage of .989 with 1 assist. Again, it’s too small of a sample size to really determine the sabermetrics and all that jazz, but there is no doubt that McCutchen is the better centerfielder. 
A couple more interesting things show up when you check out the ratio batting stats:

The top is McCutchen, bottom McLouth:


Didn’t line up for well, but still works. You’ll see that McLouth’s power bat has been slightly better, with over 1% different in the ratio. However, McLouth has been striking out more than McCutchen, although it’s pretty close. McLouth has been more patient at the plate, drawing more walks. Neither of their extra base hit percentages are very impressive, McLouth is a small .8% higher than McCutchen. Even though McCutchen has more RBI’s then McLouth, Nate’s AB/RBI ratio is 2.4 points better. They both hit more fly balls than groundballs, which probably isn’t a good thing for a player like McCutchen who relies on speed.

As for their teams, the Braves have gone 19-19 in games McLouth has played for them. The Pirates are 18-24 with McCutchen in the lineup.

But that’s all I got for now. All-in-all, I’d say it’s obvious that the Pirates have not been missing Nate McLouth at all. Andrew McCutchen has been a better all-around player and is only going to get better, MUCH better.

2 Comments

Wow. Great breakdown. You’ve got almost every stat imagineable there.

I’d take McCutcheon over McLouth any time. I think you guys might have one of the better developing outfields out there. I’m surprised that Cutch has hit only a couple fewer hrs than McLouth, but I’m not surprised. He’s got more talent.
http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

Wow you guys break it down great. NOT!!!!!!!!!
How about the fact that Nate has played the major part of this year with a hamstring injury. (check stats both with Pirates and Braves). As far as centerfield goes. 1 error the entire year. only 1 last year and that was last week of season. McCutheon does have talent I agree but you seem to want to put him in the hall already. As far as the trade goes, it is a good trade for Pirates, both players are starting centerfielders and you only need one. But if other teams had thought that McCutceon was better you can believe he would not be a Pirate now.

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