Wednesday, February 27, 2008

McCutchen Sets The Record Straight. For those who don't already know, Dan McCutchen is a bulldog righthander from Oklahoma who catapaulted himself on the prospect scene after going 16-4 with a 2.59 ERA last year.
Splitting time between Tampa and Trenton, McCutchen was not merely facing the critical jump from Single-A to Double-A competition, he was also overcoming a 50 game suspension for performance-enhancing drug use in 2006. When news of the suspension first surfaced, McCutchen's local Oklahoma newspaper blared a large, loud headline reading "McCutchen Busted For Steroids."
However, had the newspaper spent any time discovering the details to his suspension, they would have learned McCutchen had tested positive for Adderall, a drug his doctor prescribed for his attention deficit disorder. McCutchen forgot to file the prescription with the Yankees and therefore a big misunderstanding became an unavoidable stigma.

"People assumed he had taken steroids, and that just wasn't true," said Jay Franklin, McCutchen's agent. "The paper printed a retraction that nobody saw because it was so short. It was a rough time for him and his family."

Despite [an elbow injury], the Yankees drafted McCutchen in the 27th round. He turned them down to accept a scholarship from Oklahoma.

McCutchen pitched well for the Sooners, getting drafted again in 2004 (28th round by the Rays) and 2005 (12th round by the Cardinals). He beat Nebraska 5-1 on April 28, 2005, handing a sophomore named Joba Chamberlain his first loss in college.

"He threw hard; he was good," Chamberlain said. "That game was on ESPN, and he just beat me."

Within the linked piece from the Journal News, McCutchen is depicted well as the ferocious mound presence he has been described as in several prospect guides. His Trenton Thunder teammates refer to him as "Danimal," and McCutchen admitted "I have a split personality when I get on the mound."
It's this tenacity which has helped push the 25 year-old into the mix for a 2008 promotion into the Yankees starting staff or bullpen. His versatility is a great value and GM Brian Cashman explains "He's a starter for now, but we believe he does have the ability to relieve."
McCutchen primarily throws a sinker 90-94 mph, but he also throws a straighter four-seam fastball which can hit 96. He also has a hard curveball thrown at about 80 mph which is his outpitch. McCutchen completely lost his feel for the curve in Trenton, forcing him to develop and rely upon his changeup. The pitch has come a long way because of it and makes his 2007 statistics even more impressive.

1 comment:

Bryan said...

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