Andrew McCutchen: consistency is the name of the game

October 6, 2022

By Tom Andrews
Andrews Media Ventures

Web Photo

Ever since he made his Major League debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 4, 2009 Andrew Stefan McCutchen’s approach to playing the game of baseball as well as the game of life can be boiled down to one thing: consistency. Doing things the right way over and over and over again.

“I always heard that repetition is the father of learning so that also has the same concept as being consistent,” McCutchen explained. “You repeat things over and over, you do things over and over. When you’re doing consistently, you have a chance of doing good things. So maintaining consistency throughout not only the game, but your life is always good. It’s always good to have… I feel like if it keeps you on the right path and it keeps your mind on the right things, the more you do it, the better your chances of being successful.”

Photos by Yvonne Kemp

To say that his approach has worked very well would be a supreme understatement. A first round pick (11th pick overall) by the Pirates in the 2005 MLB draft, McCutchen was the NL Most Valuable Player in 2013, a five-time All-Star (2011-15), four-time Silver Slugger Award winner (2012-15), and a Gold Gove winner (2012). McCutchen also captured the coveted Roberto Clemente Award in 2015.

For those who appreciate impressive statistics, Mc- Cutchen led the National League in hits (194) in 2012 and in on-base percentage (.410), OPS (.952) and extra base hits (69) in 2014. He topped it off this season with the Milwaukee Brewers by slugging his 1,000th RBI, a milestone that ranks among the most meaningful in his career.

“I think for me what’s important is knowing and having the opportunity to be able to reach that milestone for me,” said McCutchen. “Having an opportunity be in the lineup, to be on the field even healthy more times than not and getting that opportunity is great. It just lets me know that the amount of work that I’ve put in over the years I get to see it right there in front of me. So it’s very important and it’s something that I’ll be able to have for rest of my life.”

McCutchen has a few thoughts for his younger fans who are trying to find their way in life. The importance of setting goals has always been emphasized by successful people but McCutchen is not a goal setter in the way one might think.

“I’m not a goal oriented guy because I think you sell yourself short if you set a goal,” he explained. “Specifically, let’s say I want to hit 25 homers for a year. What if I hit 25? Then I’m thinking, ‘Man, what if I had said 30 or 35? Would I have been able to do it then?’ So I set goals but in different ways.

“It’s things that I can control. It’s being able to keep myself in the right spirits every day, putting the work in before the games and doing that consistently, doing things I need to do every day, getting in the gym consistently. I set those goals because those are the goals that are easy but they’re hard at the same time. So I try to do things that I can control because (there are) a lot of things in this game that you can’t control. So I try to stay consistent with those things, those goals, and I know if I can do that I have a good chance of being able to be successful and being able to hit some things that I want to hit.”