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Pirates Vote Andrew McCutchen First-Half MVP

The Trib reports that, to absolutely no one's surprise, Pirates players say center fielder Andrew McCutchen is their first-half MVP.

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Many of his teammates needed barely a moment to come up with an answer. Closer Joel Hanrahan didn’t even wait for me to finish the question.

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"C’mon," he said. "Who else is it going to be?"

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McCutchen leads the majors in batting average, at .362, and is tied for fourth in home runs, with 18. He's also second in the majors in OPS (1.039), behind Joey Votto of the Reds. McCutchen's breakout season has been keyed by a huge power outburst, as he's regularly pounding home runs to the opposite field.

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The Pirates name James McDonald their top pitcher and breakout player. McDonald has used improved breaking stuff to confuse hitters all season.

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The Bucs say the most memorable moment of a very memorable first half was beating Aroldis Chapman in the 10th inning on June 7.

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For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.