Buster Posey and Andrew McCutchen are VERY different players. To start off, one’s a catcher and ones an outfielder. One is known for his speed, and one is known for his power. One didn’t play most of last season, the other didn’t miss a game. One grew up in Georgia, one in Floridia, and one is black and another is white. Within all these differntces, there is one glaring similarity. They are incredibly valuable to their teams success. Which raises the question, who should be the NL MVP, Posey or Mccutchen?? Read below to find out.
Once you’ve done that, vote on the poll at the bottom of the article. Make sure you vote wisely, because the winner of the debate gets $5.
[one_half] By: Jake Dal Porto
More than a year out from suffering a devastating, season-ending leg injury, Buster Posey has already made his mark as one of the game’s best catchers and overall players. And the fact that he’s putting up MVP type numbers with minimal protection in the Giants’ offense, makes him a more than worthy MVP candidate.
If the season concluded today, Andrew McCutchen would likely take home the award in spite of his August woes. Even for McCutchen, his August numbers are quite bleak (.218//.315/.282, no home runs). In light of his struggles, the Pirates have come crashing down back to reality while the Giants have padded their N.L West lead without Melky Cabrera—point Posey. Truth be told, the voters like winners. And that facet of the voting process might seperate Posey from the rest of the pack.
Here are three reasons why Buster Posey should win the N.L MVP award.
Plays a Valuable Position
Rarely do catchers have respectable stats at the end of the season. It just doesn’t happen. With all the wear and tear of sitting in the squat for nine innings nearly everyday, offense becomes a bonus. Ironically, though, Posey isn’t the only catcher flourishing on both sides of the ball. Yadier Molina is hitting .322, a mark good enough to match Posey’s batting average and his defense is heads and shoulders above Posey’s to even the comparison. However, Molina isn’t quite on Posey’s level offensively.
But back to the point— catchers deserve and generally get bonus points for simply being a catcher. If catchers accumulate better stats than any other position player, they get the nod. In Posey’s case, he would get the nod over McCutchen should their numbers remain very similar and the Giants continue to surge without Cabrera.
Granted, centerfield is a very important position, but it’s not as valuable as the catcher’s spot. Also, catchers usually take days off, hampering their consistent production to put up to par numbers. As with other positions, days off aren’t really a given considering the lesser beating on the body.
Second Half Heroics
McCutchen and Posey have turned in completely opposite directions since they both broke All-Star festivities back in mid-July. Posey, who was white-hot, has cooled off a tad, but that’s not to say that his second half stats are dull. He’s to the tune of .396/.474/.650 in 41 second half games.
McCutchen’s power has seemingly been invisible this past month, along with the coveted consistency. The speedy center-fielder is hitting .306 since the break with only six home runs. OK, the .306 batting average isn’t bad, but he hit for a triple slash of just .252/.347/.346 in August. So in other words, his production is slowly boiling down to nothing. In fact, it seems like McCutchen is following the same 2011 script that saw him hit .266/.352/.459 in August. The curse of August?
When the race is all said and done, the stats are going to overshadowed any other part of the voting process.
Posey doesn’t lose ground in this part, however. He’s sixth in the N.L in WAR (5.3), third in batting average (.330), third in OBP% (.405), third in SLG% (.533), third in WOBA% (.398), and seventh in RBIs (85). His small home run total (19) might work against him, but from an overall standpoint, his consistency across the main stats makes him the frontrunner for the honor. [/one_half]
[one_half_last] By: Phil Watson
We’ve heard the sad tale so many times it’s seared into our memories. The last time the Pittsburgh Pirates had a winning record, George H.W. Bush was still president. A gallon of gas cost $1.05. The average price for a new car was less than $17,000.
On the night known in Atlanta as “when Sid slid,” referring to gimpy-kneed first baseman Sid Bream chugging home from second base on Francisco Cabrera’s pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, a kid in Fort Meade, Fla., had turned 6 years old five days earlier.
And now that kid, center fielder Andrew McCutcheon, is one of the biggest reasons why there is finally light at the end of that long tunnel for a generation of Pirate fans who may not have ever seen a winner in their lifetimes.
The diminutive outfielder doesn’t look like the type of guy who should be powering the Pirates into their first September pennant drive since 1997, a year the Pirates hung around in a dreadful National League Central race until the final 10 days of the season but missed out on a winning record, instead finishing 79-83, five games behind the division-champion Houston Astros.
But at just 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, McCutcheon has been the engine driving the Pirate bandwagon in 2012. He leads the National League with 91 runs and 168 hits and his .341 batting average is second only to the now-suspended Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants in the National League.
He’s already popped a career-high 24 home runs and with 80 RBI seems a cinch to set a new career-best in that category as well (McCutcheon had 89 RBI last season). He’s also just a fraction behind Buster Posey of the Giants with his .405 on-base percentage.
(NOTE: All statistics are through Monday, Sept. 3).
He’s also third in the NL in slugging at .559, behind only Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins. McCutcheon’s .964 OPS trails only Braun.
So he’s produced … big-time. And he’s done it with Garrett Jones batting behind him much of the year. No disrespect to Jones, who has had the best season of his young career in 2012, but he’s not exactly a name that strikes fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers. Given a choice between pitching to McCutcheon or to Jones, it’s a pretty simple choice.
The Pirates have faded a bit, with a 70-64 record through Labor Day. They trail the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild-card spot in the National League by 2½ games. Pittsburgh was a season-best 16 games over .500 on Aug. 8 but are just 7-16 since, as McCutcheon’s bat cooled a bit in August, when he hit .252 after a scorching .446 in July.
But the Pirates are just 12 wins away from their first winning record in 20 years, their first winning season this century and Andrew McCutcheon is the single most important reason why they are in this position.