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