On August 1st I was sitting in Oakland coliseum watching the pre-game ceremonies to celebrate Rickey Henderson's induction into the Hall of Fame. I watched all of Rickey's teammates ride out on limos. I watched Rickey walk out in the middle of fireworks and then I listened to Rickey's speech. After that the game got pretty boring, the 2009 A's just couldn't hold my attention after watching clips of those teams from the 80's and early 90's.
Then the texts started coming in... "McCutchen just hit his second homer of the game". Then a little later, "He just did it again". That day I remembered thinking, could the same day that Rickey Henderson's number was retired be the same day the Andrew McCutchen made it clear he was the next great lead-off man with power?
I didn't think much about it until last night's heroics. So today I took a look at the numbers from McCutchen this season and Henderson's in his rookie year 1979. These all come from Baseball Reference.com
Games-89, AB-351, R-49, H-96, 2B-13, 3B-3, HR-1, RBI-26, SB-33, BB-34, SO-39, BA-.274, OPS-.675
McCutchen as of 8/26/09
Games-70, AB-282, R-50, H-81, 2B-18, 3B-6, HR-9, RBI-38, SB-15, BB-31, SO-50, BA-.287, OPS-.837
Those pretty much speak for themselves don't they? McCutchen betters Rickey, in runs, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI's, Average and OPS in fewer games right now.
McCutchen does strike out a lot more, and of course Rickey crushes him when it comes to stolen bases.
I know it's early in the kid's career, but maybe it's time McCutchen starts referring to himself in the third person.