Another big reason why the 34-year old outfielder wasn’t having the success at the plate that he’d like? He’s striking out far too much for a leadoff hitter.
Currently, McCutchen has struck out in 24.6 percent of his at-bats. If that pace continues, it would be by far his career-worst. That’s pretty much the exact opposite of what you want from your leadoff hitter.
After early struggles, Phillies OF Andrew McCutchen has looked much better.
On April 28, McCutchen acknowledged to reporters that he was struggling — even going so far as to say he was “sucking”, vowing to improve. So far, he’s made good on that promise.
McCutchen really picked it up at the plate in May and has looked like a different player — hitting .364/.432/.758 with four home runs. Even more impressive? He has 12 hits already this month, just one shy of his April total.
For comparison’s sake, McCutchen has played nine games in May compared to 22 in April. He’s also risen his season on-base percentage from .301 to .338, as well as his batting average —skyrocketing it from .169 to .227.
On Mother’s Day, McCutchen made highlight reels when he led off the Phillies’ Sunday Night Baseball featured contest with a home run. He deservedly hyped himself up as he rounded the bases. It marked his MLB-leading third leadoff home run of the season.
Currently, McCutchen has also pulled himself up toward the top of the Phillies leaderboards in a few key categories. He is currently tied for the team lead in walks (19), ranks third in home runs (5), and ranks fifth in RBI (15) and runs scored (14).