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November 6, 2014

Hot Stove Scouting Report

Michael Cuddyer

by Chris Rodriguez

Michael Cuddyer

Born: 03/27/1979 (Age: 35)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 220
Primary Position: RF
Secondary Position: 1B

Evaluator Chris Rodriguez
Report Date 10/19/2014
Present Role 50; 2nd division RF/1B
Years expected to perform at current level 1-2 years
Future Role 50; 2nd division designated hitter

Swing Breakdown
Square to the pitcher; slight bend to his right knee; hands move freely held about shoulder height; small leg kick; minimal pre-swing movement; looks very easy; bat comes through the zone on a slight uppercut plane; line-drive swing; ability to inside out the ball and yank his hands to get to a ball on the inside corner.
Selectively aggressive; likes to swing but will take a walk; about a 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio throughout his career; doesn't try and do too much; disciplined; with runners on, he's more aggressive at pitches in the zone; much more aggressive against LHP; looks to attack anything in the zone and on the inner half; cool and collected in big spots; good guy to have up there with the game on the line.
Fantastic makeup; good clubhouse guy; mentor to younger players on the Rockies; stays within himself in big moments; leader of the team.
Tool Current Grade Report
Hit 55 Above average; great hands/wrists; owns an impressive ability to pull his hands through the zone to get to pitches on the inner half; good bat speed; hand-eye coordination is still there; recognizes spin and off-speed quickly; often spits on pitches he can't do anything with; can drive the ball with some authority; works with the pitch wherever it's delivered; inside-outs some fastballs a la Derek Jeter; battles; can get beat by a well located, above-average fastball; .282/.316/.418 on the road and .400/.455/.800 at home.
Power 45 Fringe power; more of a line-drive stroke; fly balls to right field often die at the track; power is to the pull side; no longer a guy who will knock out 20+ a season but can still do some damage if you're not careful.
Baserunning/Speed 20 Poor speed; 4.63 and 4.6 on a dig; not a bad baserunner, however; doesn't make mistakes and good fundamentals; gets a good jump; still can score from second base on a single.
Glove 40 Below average in right field; poor range; reads and routes off the bat are solid; little first-step quickness and athleticism; not an outfielder for much longer; saw some time at first base; about average at that position, but a small sample size; should transition into a DH role for the rest of career.
Arm 50 Arm still plays; accurate and still has some juice behind it; hits the cutoff man; rarely makes mistakes with his arm.

Batted Ball Percentages
vs LHP vs RHP
46.51% 27.91% 25.58% 50.85% 31.36% 12.71%
Plate Discipline
vs LHP vs RHP
Chase % 35.56% 28.57% 29.17% 37.5% 43.84% 47.37%
Swing / Miss % 9.09% 14.29% 36.36% 15.38% 8.2% 29.41%
*Stats are for the 2014 season

Good hitter; tough out at the plate; leader on and off the field.
No longer a viable option in the field; poor speed; declining power; lots of injuries on record.
Means of Exploitation
Cuddyer was a force at home and just average on the road; Coors made him much more of a power threat, and if he signs at a more pitcher-friendly ballpark his power could see a natural decline; in my sample, pitchers were much more aggressive coming in with a fastball early in the count on the road; at home, they were noticeably more tentative; can still catch up to a fastball, but an plus or better fastball up in the zone gives him some problems; sequence and varying locations of all pitches in the arsenal will keep him guessing and on the defensive; keep the ball down to diminish his power potential and elevate the fastball with two strikes.

Cuddyer is still a quality major league hitter and can help a team in the clubhouse. Unfortunately, he doesn't provide any value in the field or on the bases. With teams much more cognizant on defensive metrics and the value quality defense can provide, I have a tough time believing any team besides the Rockies in the NL would be willing to sign him. An AL team looking for a solid bat at DH for two years could do worse than Cuddyer, and his leadership ability will only increase his value to a team that decides he's worth the investment.

Chris Rodriguez is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Chris's other articles. You can contact Chris by clicking here

Related Content:  Colorado Rockies

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article 2015 Prospects: Miami ... (11/05)
<< Previous Column
Hot Stove Scouting Rep... (11/05)
Next Column >>
Hot Stove Scouting Rep... (11/07)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Five to Watch: Post-Hy... (11/06)

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