Where Does Andrew McCutchen Sit On The Pirates All-Time Greatest List?

Andrew McCutchen and the San Francisco Giants visited PNC Park Friday. It was the first time McCutchen has been to Pittsburgh since being traded to the Giants in the offseason.  McCutchen came back to a tremendous ovation and is considered a Pirates legend.  But where does he stand on the list of all-time Pirates greats?

Let’s look at his stats with the Pirates:

Games: 1346 

At bats: 5033  

Runs: 814  

Hits: 1463  

Home Runs: 203  

RBI: 725  

Stolen Bases: 171  

OPS: .866 


I have to admit, I don’t know a damn thing about advanced statistics.  To me, WAR is good for absolutely nothing (say it again).  But they can be very valuable in determining how valuable a player is, so lets find out what these sabermetric doohickeys are about!

WAR (Wins Above Replacement)  is an all-encompassing stat that attempts to measure a position player’s or a pitcher’s total value. WAR offers an estimate to answer the question, “If this player got injured and their team had to replace them with a freely available minor leaguer or a AAAA player from their bench, how much value would the team be losing?”

Here are the Pirates all-time leaders in WAR:

  1. Honus Wagner    120.2 
  2. Roberto Clemente    94.5
  3. PaulWaner    68.3 
  4. Arky Vaughan    64.0 
  5. WillieStargell    57.5 
  6. Max Carey    52.3
  7. Barry Bonds    50.3
  8. Fred Clarke    46.8
  9. Ralph Kiner    44.7
  10. Andrew McCutchen    39.3

So by this measure, Cutch would be a top 10 all-time player, right?  Not so fast.  Another popular stat used to measure value is OPS (the sum of on base percentage and slugging percentage).  The first component is OPS- on base percentage- is viewed as superior to BA, because it measures both the ability to get base hits and the ability to draw walks. Both hits and walks are considered important in creating runs, and in scoring and batting in runs. The second component of OPS- slugging percentage- is considered important because it measures the ability of the batter to hit with power and accumulate (total) bases.

Let’s look at the top 10 in OPS:

  1. Brian Giles    1.018
  2. Ralph Kiner    .971
  3. Jake Stenzel    .958
  4. Kiki Cuyler    .912
  5. George Grantham    .901
  6. Paul Waner    .896
  7. Jason Bay    .890
  8. Willie Stargell    .889
  9. Arky Vaughan    .887
  10. Barry Bonds    .883
  11. Mike Smith    .881
  12. Andrew McCutchen    .866

Here Cutch resides outside the top 10, but how useful is this stat when Brian Giles has the best OPS?

Win Probability Added (WPA): How much a did a player or hitter alter a given game with his performance? Basically, WPA tracks a team’s percentage of winning a given game — known as “win expectancy” — and measures how a given player affects that percentage.

Here are the all-time leaders in WPA:

  1. Willie Stargell    53.7
  2. Roberto Clemente    48.6
  3. Paul Waner    41.2
  4. Ralph Kiner    28.3
  5. Andrew McCutchen    27.8
  6. Dave Parker    25.0
  7. Barry Bonds    24.8
  8. Brian Giles    24.6
  9. Arky Vaughan    21.9
  10. Pie Traynor    18.8

Runs Created is used to estimate the number of runs a hitter contributes to his team.

Pirates all-time leaders in Runs Created:

  1. Paul Waner    1681
  2. Honus Wagner    1654
  3. Roberto Clemente    1558
  4. Willie Stargell    1531
  5. Max Carey    1233
  6. Pie Traynor    1188
  7. Lloyd Waner    1034
  8. Arky Vaughan    1025
  9. Andrew McCutchen    976
  10. Ralph Kiner    900


In conclusion, I’d say Cutch is a top 10 greatest Pirate.  What do you think?  I ran a poll on twitter and here’s how people voted:

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