INDIANAPOLIS -- The Baseball Writers' Association of America has voted current Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder and former Indianapolis Indians standout Andrew McCutchen as the National League's Most Valuable Player for the 2013 season. The accolade is the first MVP honor of McCutchen's career and adds to his offseason awards haul of a Silver Slugger award and Players Choice for the NL's Outstanding Player.
With the accolade, McCutchen becomes the first former Indianapolis Indians player to take home a Major League MVP award since outfielder Larry Walker in 1997 with Colorado. Along with Walker, McCutchen joins a prestigious list of all-time Tribe greats to be named MVP including OF George Foster (Cincinnati, 1977), 1B/3B Harmon Killebrew (Minnesota, 1969), OF Roger Maris (New York-AL, 1960-61) and C Gabby Hartnett (Chicago-NL, 1935).
McCutchen, who also finished second in the NL MVP award race last season, earned this year's hardware by ranking among the top five of National League leaders in several batting categories including multi-hit games (2nd, 59), total hits (3rd, 185), OBP (3rd, .404) and total bases (5th, 296). The slugger also hit at a .317 clip to rank seventh in the league and first among NL center fielders in overall batting average.
In addition, the former Indians standout joined the 20-20 club for the third consecutive season by slugging 21 homers and swiping 27 bags. McCutchen is now the first Pirates player since Barry Bonds (1990-92) to hit 20 or more home runs and steal 20 or more bases in three straight seasons, as well as just the sixth player in Pittsburgh's 127-year history to hit at least 100 homers and swipe at least 100 bases in their career (also Barry Bonds, Al Martin, Andy Van Slyke, Dave Parker and Hall-of-Famer Paul Waner).
Defensively, the speedy outfielder earned his accolade with several highlight-reel catches while patrolling PNC Park's vast center field. McCutchen also showcased his impressive arm strength by ranking seventh in the National League with his career-high 11 outfield assists and tied for third by helping turn three double plays from the outfield. He committed just six errors in 338 total chances to finish third in overall fielding percentage (.982) among NL outfielders who appeared in at least 155 games.
McCutchen also posted MVP numbers during his stint with the Tribe from 2007-09, highlighted by his team-leading 145 hits in 2008. His efforts that season earned the slugger a spot in the 2008 Triple-A All-Star Game, where was voted the International League's Top Star after going 2-for-2 with two RBI. Overall with Indianapolis, McCutchen batted a combined .286 with 65 extra-base hits and 75 RBI in 201 games.