Andrew McCutchen used to be highly desirable in Fantasy Baseball. Coming off one of his worst seasons and now at the age of 32, his stock has declined. He signed a three-year, $50 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
One of the ways to find values is veterans players that are passed on due to age and many people consistently shooting for upside often, bypassing the boring player. Not every pick needs to be home runs. Finding stable stats can be a key cog in a successful team.
Is McCutchen still useful in Fantasy?
McCutchen began last season with the Giants, playing in an awful home park. He was traded to the Yankees late in the season and finished with a slash line of .255/.368/.424 with 83 runs, 20 home runs, 65 RBIs, 14 stolen bases and a .792 OPS in 155 games. The home runs were the lowest since he had 16 in 2010 as were the RBIs. He had 56 RBIs in 2010. Only once since 2009 did he have an OPS lower than last seasons. The average was a career low.
Considering his poor start, it was an accomplishment he reached those numbers. He batted .212 with three home runs and 12 RBIs and a .703 OPS in March/April and batted .281 with no home runs and eight RBIs in May.
McCutchen’s counting stats and low power output was hurt by playing in San Francisco, which is one of the worst parks for hitters. The lineup wasn’t good and it hurt McCutchen’s counting stats. McCutchen had a 21.3 percent strikeout rate, which is 3.1 percent above his career average. The 13.9 percent walk rate was one of the highest in his career, so the patience is still good.
McCutchen is still making hard contact. He had a 43.4 percent hard hit rate, which is the best of his career, and a 23 percent line drive rate.
The move to Philadelphia is excellent for McCutchen. Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia was fourth in home runs, according to ESPN’s MLB Park Factors, while Oracle Park in San Francisco was 29th out of 30 parks. McCutchen won’t hit 30 home runs, but he could get back to the mid-20s and he will be in a much better lineup as the park is one of the best for right-handed hitters.
The Phillies could still add Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, but should hit in the top five even if one of those stars are added. McCutchen is one of the most durable players in the game. Since his first full season in the majors in 2010, McCutchen has played at least 153 games in eight of nine seasons. The one year he fell short, he played in 146 games.
McCutchen provides a solid base of stats. Steamer projects him to bat .263 and that’s fine in today’s game. He will see an uptick in runs and RBIs due to the improved lineup and can approach home runs in the mid-20s. He stole 14 bases last season and has reached double-digits in every year since 2009 except 2016 when he battled injury. Even if he steals ten bases, it’s valuable since steals are down and they add up.
McCutchen is the 40th outfielder off the board on fantrax.com with an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 167.64. He’s the unsexy veteran that many just pass on. Don’t be that person. McCutchen is a great value based on this price and provides a very high floor.
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