After suffering through a dismal 98-loss campaign in 2017, the San Francisco Giants are going great guns to avoid that sort of pain again.
The San Francisco Giants continue their offseason facelift, as they already acquired former All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria in a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. Now, they have traded for Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
While McCutchen experienced a somewhat down year in 2016, the former NL MVP had a solid bounce-back campaign in 2018, slashing .279/.363./.486 with 28 home runs and 94 runs scored for Pittsburgh.
It’s not hard to see what the Giants envision McCutchen adding to their offense, a group that scored the second fewest runs in all of baseball last year. McCutchen is coming to the bay area to create and score runs, and if successful, the Giants should find themselves in the playoff picture for 2018.
3. Andrew McCutchen is an elite on-base presence
Only the Padres offense was worse at getting batters on base, posting a dreadful on-base-percentage of .309. McCutchen, even at age 31, should be able to help boost the team’s overall on-base totals for 2018. With a career walk rate of 11.8 percent and a career on-base percentage of .379, McCutchen should have no problem getting on base for the Giants.
The veteran also managed to lower his swinging strike rate to 8.7 percent, which in turn, also lead to a lowered strike out rate. His plate discipline, while maybe not elite, shows his maturing approach at the plate makes him valuable even to a team in need of runners.
His career batting average of balls in play is also an encouraging .328, which all translate to this: McCutchen will finds ways to get on base, even if his power numbers dip.
But, don’t expect those to fall quite yet.