Andrew Mccutchen

Submitted by on Sep 20, 2015

Andrew Stefan McCutchen was born on October 10, 1986, in Fort Meade, Florida. ( Click here for a complete listing of today’s sports birthdays .) His parents, Lorenzo and Petrina, were teenagers, still in high school. Lorenzo was a star of the Fort Meade High School baseball, basketball and football teams. Petrina was a top-notch volleyball player. She earned grant-in-aid money to attend Polk Community College, while Lorenzo earned a football scholarship to Carson-Newman College in Tennessee. They shared parenting chores as much as possible for the first five years of Andrew’s life.

Lorenzo and Petrina were finally married in 1991 and also became deeply involved in the Peaceful Believers Church in Fort Meade. Lorenzo worked as a youth counselor, while Petrina took a job with the local Sherriff’s Department. They had another child, a girl named Lauren.

Soon Andrew was showing signs that he would eclipse both of his parents in athletic prowess. They encouraged his progress but also stressed academics, knowing that sports could only take him so far. The McCutchens sent their son to Union Academy in Bartow, about 15 minutes north of Fort Meade. There he developed a love of drawing and poetry.

Union Academy did not have a baseball team, so Andrew spent most of his time of his diamond for youth league clubs and later AAU travel teams. He switched to Fort Meade Middle School in eighth grade and—because the town mixed its middle and high school—was eligible to try out for the varsity baseball team at age 13. Coach Jeff Toffanelli took one look at the teenager’s quick, powerful swing and dubbed him the starting shortstop for the Fighting Miners. Andrew hit .591 that year—leading all high school players in Polk County.

Andrew had already become something of a school legend at that point. He played wide receiver for the Fort Meade JV football team in the fall of 2001. In the final game of the season, he caught two TD passes, ran back two kickoffs for scores, and scored a fifth touchdown on a punt return.

Andrew developed into a three-sport star in high school for Fort Meade, despite suffering an ACL injury as a freshman. He played football, ran track, and was the leader of the baseball team. He was a member of the state championship 4 x 100 relay team as a freshman and earned All-County honors in football as a sophomore. During Andrew’s freshman baseball season, coach Toffanelli followed the advice of a baseball scout and moved Andrew to the outfield.

Andrew hit .474 during his varsity career—and better than .700 as a senior with 45 stolen bases. He was offered baseball and football scholarships by several Florida schools. He committed to the University of Florida, but after being selected by the Pirates with the 11th pick in the opening round of the baseball draft, he decided to begin his professional baseball career and signed with Pittsburgh.

ON THE RISE

Andrew split his first pro seasons between the Gulf Coast League Pirates and Williamsport Crosscutters of the NY-Penn League. In a total of 58 games, the 18-year-old batted .310 with 17 stolen bases and 18 extra-base hits. In 2006, Andrew spent the bulk of the year with the Class-A Hickory Crawdads. He batted .291 with 14 homers and 22 stolen bases. Toward the end of the season, he was promoted a level to Altoona of the Eastern League, where he hit .308 in 20 games. He was the only teenager on the roster. The Pirates named him theirMinor League Player of the Year for 2006.

Andrew returned to Altoona in 2007 and continued to hone his game. Late in the year, the Pirates moved him up to the Class-AAA Indianapolis Indians, where he .313 in 17 games. From there, Andrew continued his progress in the Arizona Fall League, where he was named to the AFL Rising Stars and All-Prospect squads.

Andrew spent the entire 2008 campaign with Indianapolis, manning centerfield between fellow prospects Steve Pearce and Nyjer Morgan. Andrew led the team in hits and runs, and was third in RBIs behind Pearce and Neil Walker. He and Morgan combined for 78 stolen bases at the top of the order.

Andrew MccutchenAndrew Mccutchen
Andrew MccutchenAndrew Mccutchen
Andrew MccutchenAndrew Mccutchen

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