An attempt to put Andrew McCutchen’s first half into perspective

Since the inception of a league Most Valuable Player Award, there have been seven years in which a Pittsburgh Pirate has won the award:

  • 1927: Paul Waner
  • 1960: Dick Groat
  • 1966: Roberto Clemente
  • 1978: Dave Parker
  • 1979: Willie Stargell
  • 1990: Barry Bonds
  • 1992: Barry Bonds

Let’s revisit how each of those players did in their first half.

1927: Paul Waner

73 G, .385 BA, .444 OBP, .612 SLG, 25 2B, 14 3B, 5 HR, 180 OPS+

1960: Dick Groat

80 G, .315 BA, .359 OBP, .387 SLG, 19 2B, 3 3B, 0 HR, 107 OPS+

1966: Roberto Clemente

80 G, .328 BA, .373 OBP, .542 SLG, 18 2B, 7 3B, 13 HR, 165 OPS+

1978: Dave Parker

71 G, .316 BA, .377 OBP, .535 SLG, 13 2B, 5 3B, 13 HR, 157 OPS+

1979: Willie Stargell

61 G, .306 BA, .359 OBP, .617 SLG, 11 2B, 0 3B, 18 HR, 163 OPS+

1990: Barry Bonds

73 G, .340 BA, .423 OBP, .615 SLG, 21 2B, 3 3B, 15 HR, 187 OPS+

1992: Barry Bonds

68 G, .303 BA, .434 OBP, .588 SLG, 17 2B, 3 3B, 15 HR, 190 OPS+

Now let’s look at Andrew McCutchen‘s 1st half to 2012

81 G, .362 BA, .414 OBP, .625 SLG, 17 2B, 5 3B, 18 HR, 184 OPS+

  • McCutchen’s .362 batting average ranks 2nd highest among all those players behind only Waner’s .385 mark at the break.
  • His .414 OBP ranks 4th on that list behind Waner’s .444, Bonds’ .434, and Bonds’ .423.
  • The .625 SLG is higher than any other player’s slugging percentage at the break.
  • His 18 home runs are tied with Willie Stargell for most at the break.
  • His 184 OPS+ ranks higher than everyone’s except Bonds’ two seasons. (For those wondering, OPS+ basically compares the players OPS to everyone else’s in the league that season. Exactly average is 100.)

It really is hard to put into words just how amazing this season has been for McCutchen. He truly is putting up MVP numbers. His 1.039 OPS is 2nd in the NL behind only Joey Votto and his batting average leads all of baseball.

If McCutchen is somehow able to maintain what he’s doing, his name will be listed among those guys in this post. As of right now, I truly believe the National League MVP award is his to lose.