August 17, 2007

McCutchen and Walker Promoted to Indianapolis

The Pittsburgh Pirates promoted third baseman Neil Walker, outfielder Andrew McCutchen and reliever David Davidson to AAA Indianapolis.


Walker has been very consistent offensively at Altoona.  His defense still needs work.

Walker, who made the conversion from catcher to third base this season, was one of the Eastern League's most consistent hitters, recording a .288 average with 13 home runs and 66 RBI in 117 games. He was selected to participate in the Eastern League All-Star Game and is a strong candidate to be named an E.L. post-season All-Star.

McCutchen started the season slowly, only rivaled by Adam LaRoche, but has rebounded nicely to earn the promotion.

McCutchen hit .258 with 10 home runs, 48 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 118 games this season for the Curve. After hitting just .233 (69-for-296) over the first three months of the season, McCutchen picked up the pace in July and August, posting a .307 average (46-for-150) in his final 41 Double-A games. He went 1-for-4 Thursday at Binghamton to extend his season-high on-base streak to 20 games.


Dave Davidson has been solid at Altoona most of the season.

Davidson was the Pirates' 10th round selection in the 2002 draft out of high school in St. Catherine's, Ontario, making him the Bucs' highest-drafted Canadian-born player in history. The 23-year old lefty went 3-1 with two saves, a 4.22 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 59 2/3 innings over 39 games. Davidson limited Eastern League batters to just a .205 average against.

The move, of McCutchen and Walker to Indy, has four of the Pirates top position prospects at AAA, joining first baseman Steven Pearce, who has been on fire no matter where he has played, and the ever steady Brian Bixler at short.


McCutchen, Walker, Bixler, Pearce and Davidson will all likely get a cup of coffee with the big league in a September call-up.


Player quotes from press release.


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