Major honor could be on tap for McCutchen

Major honor could be on tap for McCutchen

PITTSBURGH -- There's no question that outfielder Andrew McCutchen created a buzz around Pittsburgh in his four-month introduction to the Major Leagues in 2009. Now it's time to see if his season was good enough to earn one of the league's most prestigious honors.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) begins handing out its postseason awards on Monday, with the National League and American League Rookie of the Year honors up first. The two winners will be announced at 2 p.m. ET.

McCutchen made his big league debut on June 4 and lived up to the hype of being a first-round Draft pick four years earlier. He led all NL rookies with 47 extra-base hits, while ranking second in multihit games (36), runs (74), walks (54) and total bases (204). He finished third in stolen bases (22), RBIs (54), slugging percentage (.471) and doubles (26).

His 10 outfield assists marked the most by any rookie outfielder since Atlanta's Jeff Francoeur had 13 in 2005.

McCutchen has already been tabbed Baseball America's 2009 Rookie of the Year, but his competition for the BBWAA award is quite stiff.

Rookie first baseman/right fielder Garrett Jones is also expected to get consideration, though he is likely to finish behind McCutchen. That should in no way detract from the season he had in Pittsburgh after making his debut on July 1.

Jones finished with more home runs (21) and a higher slugging percentage (.567) than any rookie in the Majors. He hit 10 home runs in his first 19 games to become the fastest player in franchise history to reach 10 homers.

Jones ended the season ranked second among NL rookies in on-base percentage (.372), third in batting average (.293), fifth in total bases (178) and sixth in RBIs (44).

On the pitching side, Philadelphia's J.A. Happ (12-4) and Atlanta's Tommy Hanson (11-4) led the way. Both accumulated more than 125 innings of work and finished with sub-3.00 ERAs. Hansen averaged nearly a strikeout an inning after being called up

On the offensive side, expect Florida's Chris Coghlan and Milwaukee's Casey McGehee to get some consideration, in addition to McCutchen and Jones. Coghlan led all NL rookies with a .321 average, 31 doubles and 84 runs scored. McGehee's 66 RBIs were a league high among rookies.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.