Chris Coghlan or Andrew McCutchen?

I’m going to introduce a new topic that I will try to do once a week.  It is going to discuss two players from around the MLB and how they matchup.  Who would I choose.  Who would others choose.  Upsides, downsides.  Better success.  All that jazz.  It’s going to be here.  So here we go.  For the first post of this kind, I will be talking about two recently called up youngsters who have been STELLAR so far this season.

Chris Coghlan or Andrew McCutchen

  • Chris Coghlan: So far this season, this kid has only played in 44 games, yet has been tearing it up for every minute of them.  He has been STELLAR.  He is batting .265, which is respectable, has 2 homers, which is a good start for a leadoff speedy kind of guy.  He has scored 26 runs which is outstanding.  He has 11 RBI and 4 SB whichare also very good stats for a guy who’s only played 44 games so far.  I have been very impressed with how easily he has meshed with the Marlins team. He has fit perfectly into the leadoff spot batting in front of the likes of Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu who make up the powerful middle of the lineup.  Coghlan has also showed impressive defensive skill.  He has played a solid left field with only three errors.  That’s not all that bad but it could be a little better.  But that’s why they’re called professionals.  They can improve and fix their problems to make them better.  I’m sure Coghlan’s defense will improve over his career.  Certainly by next season, he will be shut down in the outfield.  He can also play second base which gives the Marlins some flexibility.  He is an all around great young player who has a lot to learn and a lot to prove.
  • Andrew McCutchen: Ever since the McLouth trade to Atlanta, Pittsburgh has been amazed at how well McCutchen has replaced McLouth in center.  He has filled in with the same skill, mindset, and positive attitude that McLouth had, and maybe a little extra.  He has been a speedy sensation in Pittsburgh and has made many Pittsburgh fans and many MLB followers forget about the loss of McLouth to the Braves.  McCutchen has been tearing it up and has proved he is ready to be a professional.  Right now, I think he may be the fastest guy in the MLB.  You could make an argument for Emilio Bonifacio (Coghlan’s teammate in Florida), Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston Red Sox) or maybe a few others.  But McCutchen’s speed is so essential to his game, that every time he hits it to the outfield, the thoughts that go through many minds is this: “If it falls he’s got two and he’s gonna try for a triple.”  Yeah… he’s that fast.  His defense is pretty good too.  Now he’s only played 21 games but has not made an error yet and has played a solid centerfield.  On offense, as I said, his speed is a huge asset.  He has already legged out 5 triples (maybe not legged out because he made a few of them standing up… I told you he’s really fast).  He has 4 doubles, a homer, and has four stolen bases.  He’s scored 16 runs and overall, he has been one of the biggest parts of the Pittsburgh offense.  He is also in the leadoff spot and will stay there for many years as the center point of the Bucs’ offense.

So who would I take for my team.  Honestly, I would take either of them.  They are both fantastic young players and could both fit into any offense at the leadoff spot.  They are both good defensively (McCutchen is probably a little better) and they both are pretty fast.  Overall, I think McCutchen may have the edge.  He definitely has the edgo defensively because he has no errors and has played enough games to convince me he won’t be making too many over his career.  His speed also pushes him over Coghlan because he can leg out triples to get an easy score.  A hit with him on second would easily score but you never know.  Third is safer than second.  So in this debate of youngsters who are tearing it up so far, I take McCutchen with a slight edge.  Coghlan, maybe next time.  Work on your defense.

That’s all for this debate.  I hope you enjoyed this post.  If you did leave a comment so I know I should continue this and not be wasting my time.  Thanks.



  1. phi8008

    I completely agree with your pic of McCutchen. I saw him a lot in Spring Training when the Pirates played the Phillies and he absolutely tore it up, he had two triples in a game in consecutive games. And he just had that walk off hit the other night, this kid is gonna be big. Good Post.

  2. phi8008

    by the way we can trade links if you would like, be sure to check mine out, I just posted my thoughts on interleague play and thank God its finally over. Thanks man.

  3. jonnnnnn

    The best asset of McCutchen’s game is his defense. He has only made a couple great catches out there in the outfield, but once he gets some games under his belt and more confidence, he’s really gonna show the league some amazing things in centerfield. Seriously, his defense has been absolutely phenomenal in our farm systems and I honestly think he will be the best defensive centerfielder in the league in a couple years.

  4. Howard

    I like the McCutchen call very much. I’ve been doing fantasy baseball for years which helped me learn who both he and Coghlan were. Strangely enough, I own both of them in one of my leagues. While Coghlan has been great and yet another in the long line of Marlins great youth, McCutchen is the better call. Defensively he’s fantastic out there and his speed gives him amazing range. At the plate and on the basepaths, he’s got the potential to be one of the top leadoff men in the majors. The Pirates made a fantastic decision to let him hone his game in the minors these last 2 years. It should pay major dividends.

  5. onaku

    Well, I’m not going to agree or disagree with your choice, though, I would like to add a few things about Coghlan. First off, he doesn’t just “also” play second, he is a natural second basemen. His move to the outfield only happened a few weeks before his call up. You can literally see his defense get better out there game by game.

    One other thing, you said that he was not tearing it up in every one of his games. In fact, if you look at his average as it is right now, it’s because he has been stellar despite a rough start…like, a .194 avg in the first 20 games that he started (all in the month of May). Since then, in this month, as he’s been consistent now starting, he is batting .293 with a .364 OBP, so his season stats may not be fully indicative of the quality of player he is.

    Of course, sample size can hurt you either way and he could just be over performing right now, but his swing right now looks nice for a lead off hitter.

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