Phillies 2021 Season Player Preview: Andrew McCutchen

Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

After signing him as a free agent, Andrew McCutchen was doing just what the Philadelphia Phillies hoped for during the first couple months of the 2019 season. However, a fluke injury on the basepaths led to a midseason ACL surgery. McCutchen worked hard to return last season, but clearly was not 100 percent — which became evident on both the bases and in the field.

What can we expect from the 34-year-old outfielder this season? Before moving forward, let’s take a glance at what McCutchen has done in a Phillies uniform so far. In 2019, he took the leadoff role and ran with it, drawing 43 walks with an impressive .378 on-base percentage in 57 games before the ACL tear. Also, he scored 45 runs, belted 10 home runs, and committed only two errors in more than 495 innings in the field.

The 2020 season being delayed until late July benefited McCutchen in his return. To no surprise, he started slowly, not hitting a home run until the 15th game and hit under .200 until the 16th game. McCutchen picked up the pace the rest of the way, hitting .273 with nine home runs across his last 165 at-bats. In the field, McCutchen didn’t commit an error, but his range was severely limited and had a dWAR of -1.0. What can we expect from the veteran outfielder in 2021?

Predicting how Andrew McCutchen will fare in his third season with the Phillies

Despite entering his 13th season in the majors, McCutchen continues to show good power. He hit 20 home runs combined in 114 games in 2019 and 2020 and only once prior did he fail to hit at least 20 homers in a season.

The ultimate key to McCutchen’s success will be his health. Manager Joe Girardi was impressed with his ability to run full force in what he said was the first time since he was manager.

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McCutchen will hit at the top of the lineup and he should have plenty of opportunities to not only score runs with the likes of Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, and Alec Bohm hitting behind him, but also chances to drive in runs.

Another 20 home runs are in the cards for McCutchen. Expect him to hit around .250-.260 in 130 to 140 games, draw plenty of walks, steal 10 bases, and have a greater impact in the outfield.

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