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July 15, 2012

BP Unfiltered

Andrew McCutchen and Grown-Man Strength

by R.J. Anderson

Andrew McCutchen entered Sunday leading the National League in batting average and slugging percentage. He also ranked third in on-base percentage and second in home runs.

McCutchen hit his 21st home run of the season in the fourth inning against Yovani Gallardo. Not only did the shot put McCutchen within two home runs of his career-high (set just last season), but it marked another milestone. McCutchen entered the season with eight home runs hit to right-right-center field in more than 1,800 plate appearances. Sunday’s home run marked his eighth of the year in that direction in a little over one-third of the playing time. These aren’t cheap opposite field shots, either:

Image courtesy of Hit Tracker Online

McCutchen may not be built like a typical slugger—he’s more wiry than bulky—and he does not rely on brute force, but rather strong and quick wrists. But this could be a case where the old scouting axiom about power coming last is proven correct. If so, and if this is McCutchen gaining his grown-man strength, then look out. One of the best players in the game might be getting even better.

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

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