2005 Topps Updates & Highlights Andrew McCutchen
There are probably going to be a few readers who are a little surprised that I would put McCutchen this high on my list, but he is one of the players I am most bullish on for the future and would not be shocked if he's even higher on lists like this after he retires. There are so many players whom collectors seek out and spend really good money on their cards, but what are they really buying? Sure, Bryce Harper and others look really good at a young age, but to some degree they are still young and unproven talents. Bryce Harper cards, other young players too, often have trouble justifying the price of their cards in the long run and collectors lose money. McCutchen cards are already very well thought of, very much sought after, and McCutchen has already done something on the field.
McCutchen's rookie cards are in the loaded 2005 releases which also feature rookie cards of Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jay Bruce, and a few others. Clustering multiple important rookie cards into a set always seems to help out, so the company is helping out McCutchen beyond his MVP performance on the field. McCutchen has autographed rookie cards too. I would recommend sticking with the 2005 Bowman card though since his Topps Updates autograph is on a sticker. His Bowman Sterling autograph is also a sticker. All of his rookie autographs are likely to run you close to $100, so be prepared to part with something to land one.
Outside of his rookie cards, other good McCutchen cards (short-prints, relics, autographs) are going to be competitively priced and can be a challenge to find at times. There are some really good Pirates fans floating around out there and they love Andrew McCutchen. I have tried to add some good cards of the Pirates outfielder to my collection over the years and always find that I have to frequently go over budget on dollars or trade bait to land good cards. One of my favorite McCutchen's....
2010 Topps Triple Threads Andrew McCutchen Jersey/Autograph
McCutchen has a great signature and has remained pretty consistent over the years. This cost me a little too much probably, but it's a great looking card and I love running across it in my box of autographs. To give you an idea of the premium that seems to be attached to McCutchen cards I found a pair of Triple Threads autographs from the Pirates star and another comparable player, the Dodgers Matt Kemp. Here's a look at how similar cards of theirs price out on Ebay. First McCutchen:
There are cards like this on Ebay that are higher and lower, but this seems to be the average going price for a McCutchen autograph from a great set. Now, here's the Kemp comparable Kemp autographs:
Pick a different site and a different card, same thing...
Clearly there is already a premium on McCutchen cards. He's only 27 and plays on a team that is likely contend for the next several years. There is already a premium on McCutchen cards and it has the potential to grow even more in the near future.
On The Field-
Let's start off with the really simple one first: McCutchen is a really fun player to watch. He's pretty good at everything. He plays a good center-field, hits for average, and has some power.
Really, as a player under 30 I am not sure that people really understand how good of a player McCutchen is at this point in his career. People are aware that he won the MVP last year, but it's not like a came out of nowhere to do it. So, let's take a deeper look at where McCutchen stands as a 27 year old center fielder.
JAWS rates him as the 84th best center fielder in MLB history. That doesn't sound too impressive until you look at the list and realize he's already passed a bunch of good players by who have played a much long time than him. That list of names includes: Coco Crisp (12 years vs 5 years), Jacoby Ellsbury (7 years vs 5 years), Matt Kemp (8 years vs 5 years), and Josh Hamilton.
When you flip the discussion over to OPS+ McCutchen does even better in the discussion of great center fielders. He already ranks inside the top 20 ahead of Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Kirby Puckett. He's also ahead of future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr and he's actually only one point behind Dodgers legend Duke Snider.
Clearly McCutchen still needs to continue to put up the numbers he is putting up and do it for the better part of another decade, but he seems to be one of those players who has Hall of Fame potential.
I am not sure what's going on here, but it looks pretty cool....
2012 Topps Andrew McCutchen SP