Is Cutch right? Is future brighter now than 2009?

Comparing the starters for 2023 back to 2009
Andrew McCutchen
Photo credit 93.7 The Fan

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Andrew McCutchen said he believes the young players and the core of this roster is better than when he came up in 2009. Here is what McCutchen said.

“There weren’t names, big names, when I first came up and guys who could really be impactful when I first came up,” McCutchen said Friday. “That’s not dogging anybody, of course, when I first came up, but I just feel like this group of guys, they’re special. The talent is there.”

“And that’s coming from me. I’m on the field and I see it. I play against it. I’m literally there. I’m watching it. This is me going like; yeah, they may have lost some games or whatever, but they’re better than we were when I first came out.”

Given his thoughts, let’s a take a look between position players from 2009 to 2023. Favor given to what those players did or likely will do in the next few years, no consideration to their past. We marked in bold who we thought was the better player.

Catcher

2009-Ryan Doumit, 28-years-old, .250, 16-2B, 10-HR, 38-RBI, 75 games
2023-Austin Hedges, 30-years-old, .163, 7 HR, 30 RBI in 105 games
-defense big advantage Hedges, offense big advantage Doumit
-Doumit would hit .308 in 2011 w Bucs before injury, in 2012 w Twins hit 18 HR, 75 RBI

1st Base

2009-Adam LaRoche, 29-years-old, .247, 25 2B, 12 HR, 40 RBI, 87 games
2023-Ji-Man Choi, 31-years-old, .233, career-high 22 2B, 11 HR, 52 RBI in 113 games
-defense is a wash, LaRoche had more offense
-LaRoche traded to Boston midseason ‘09, would combine for 57 HR and 200 RBI w AZ and WASH in next 2 years

2nd Base

2009-Freddy Sanchez, 31-years-old, .296, 28 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 34 RBI, 86 games
2023-Rodolfo Castro, 23-years-old, .233, 8 2B, 11 HR, 27 RBI, .233 in 71 games, hit 13 2B, 12 HR in 75 games in AAA
-Sanchez was a little more sure-handed defensively, Castro has years of offensive upside
-at this point of his career, Sanchez would only play 2 more years after winning the batting title in 2006

Shortstop

2009-Jack Wilson, 31-years-old, .267, 18 2B, 4 HR, 31 RBI, 75 games
2023-Oneil Cruz, 23 years-old, .233, 13-2B, 17 HR, 54 RBI in 87 games
-Wilson was the steadier defensive player, but Cruz has MVP potential which Wilson didn’t have despite 201 hits with the Pirates in 2004
-Wilson would be traded to Seattle-would play sparingly last 3 seasons of career

3rd Base

2009-Andy LaRoche, 25-years-old, .258, 29 2B, 12 HR, 64 RBI, 150 games
2023-Ke’Bryan Hayes, 26 years-old, .244, 24 2B, 7 HR, 41 RBI, 20 SB in 136 games
-defense a huge advantage for Hayes and the offense, while it hasn’t quite come, the potential is much better for Hayes

OF (2 positions assuming McCutchen plays one)

2009-Nyjer Morgan, 28-years-old, .277, 6 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 27 RBI, 18 SB, 71 games
2023-Bryan Reynolds, 27-years-old, .262, .345, 19 2B, 27 HR, 62 RBI, 145 games
-give Morgan the speed advantage, beyond that everything else goes to Reynolds

2009-Brandon Moss, 26-years-old, .236, 20 2B, 7 HR, 41 RBI, 133 games
2023-Jack Suwinski, 24-years-old, .202, 11 2B, 19 HR, 38 RBI, 106 games
-after leaving Pittsburgh in 2011 would have 3 seasons in Oakland-64 doubles, 76 HR, 220 RBI

Bench

2009

Garrett Jones--.293, .372 OBP, 21 HR, 21 2B, 44 RBI in 82
games
Delwyn Young--.266, 16 2B, 7 HR, 43 RBI in 124 games
Ramon Vazquez--.230, 7 2B, HR, 16 RBI, 101 games
Jason Jaramillo--.252, 14 2B, 3 HR, 26 RBI, 63 games
Steve Pearce--.206, 13 2B, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 60 games
Neil Walker--.194, 2B, 17 games

2023

Carlos Santana--.192, 8 2B, 15 HR, 39 RBI, 79 games
Connor Joe--.238, 20 2B, 7 HR, 28 RBI, 111 games
Tyler Heineman--.217, 8 2B, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 62 games
Ji-Hwan Bae--.333, 6 RBI in 33 AB//AAA-.289, 23 2B, 6 3B, 8 HR, 53 RBI, 30 SB, 108 games
Cal Mitchell--.226, 11 2B, 5 HR, 17 RBI in 69 games//AAA-.339, 18 2B, 9 HR, 49 RBI in 63 games

Starting pitchers

2009-Zach Duke, 26-years-old, 11-16, 4.06 ERA, 213-IP
2023-Roansy Contreras, 23-years-old, 5-5, 3.79 ERA, 95 IP
-Duke would have one more season as a starter before becoming a lefty reliever specialist

2009-Paul Maholm, 27-years-old, 8-9, 4.44 ERA, 194.2-IP
2023-Rich Hill, 42-years-old, 8-7, 4.27 ERA, 124.1 IP
-Maholm would have 2 straight sub-4 ERA seasons in ’11-12

2009-Ross Ohlendorf, 26-years-old, 11-10, 3.92 ERA, 176.2 IP
2023-Mitch Keller-26-years-old, 5-12, 3.91 ERA, 159 IP
-until the 2nd half of last year it might be a wash, but Keller with a 2.61 ERA in July and 1.80 ERA in September
-Ohlendorf ‘s 2009 was a career best season, he would bounce around for the next few years

2009-Charlie Morton, 25-years-old, 5-9, 4.55 ERA, 97-IP
2023-JT Brubaker, 28-years-old, 3-12, 4.69 ERA, 144 IP
-Morton would go on to be a playoff hero and key piece of rotations to this day

2009-Ian Snell, 27-years-old, 2-8, 5.36 ERA, 80.2-IP
2023-Vince Velasquez, 30-years-old, 3-3, 4.78 ERA, 75.1 IP
-Snell would be traded to Seattle and pitch one more season in the majors

Closer

2009-Matt Capps, 25-years-old, 4-8, 5.80 ERA, 27 saves
2023-David Bednar, 27-years-old, 3-4, 2.61 ERA, 19 saves

Who do you think had the better team or the better future-2009 or 2023?

Featured Image Photo Credit: 93.7 The Fan