Andrew McCutchen's Bondsian path

And other reasons to be excited about the upstart Pittsburgh Pirates

Updated: June 27, 2011, 11:25 AM ET
By Jonah Keri | FanGraphs

The Pittsburgh Pirates got a rare turn in the spotlight last week. In picking UCLA starting pitcher Gerrit Cole first overall in the amateur draft, the Bucs gave the baseball world a chance to imagine the hulking, 6-foot-4 right-hander anchoring a winning rotation. A half-decade from now, Cole and last year's highly-touted high school phenoms Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie could lead one of the best pitching staffs in the game.

But Pittsburgh could become a contender much sooner than that. Because right now, Andrew McCutchen looks a little like a young Barry Bonds.