Blog Entry

AL Only Player Spot Light- Michael Cuddyer

Posted on: May 22, 2009 1:36 am
 
You'll have to fogive me on the later then expected player updates, but I've been busy. My girlfriend, the greatest in the world bought me UFC Undisputed 2009.

Needless to say that I've been throwing down hard core in an attempt to acquire the UFC Lightweight title. It's anything but easy, if you're a fan of the UFC, or a fan of fighting for the matter, you should definately buy or rent this game. It's just beyond sweet.

While we're on the topic of video games, I thought I'd mention another personal favourite. MLB Front Office Manager. This game was highly anticipated amongst the hardcore fantasy gamers. Those that were expecting MLB 2k9 were disappointed. I on the other hand was not. Which brings me to my team. Oh yeah it's loaded. Did the fantasy draft and the whole she-bang. But I quickly realized, in this game you need pitching. It's not there if you wait, if you do wait, boy you're in a world of hurt. So needless to say my Pittsburgh Pirates, are playing like the real Pirates. Not good.

Now that that's out of the way, we or shall I say I can focus on the task at hand. This week's Player Spot Light, belongs to former fantasy darling, and my vote for 2009 AL Comeback Player of the Year none other then the Minnesota Twins, Michael Cuddyer.

Cuddyer isn't a sexy play by any means, but he's been a great contributing force to a few of my fantasy rosters, all the while getting no love. The guys at ESPN are owning him in just 7.7% of leagues! Astounding. CBS' ownership is alot higher up to 38% of leagues, but still to low for me. After all he has posted these stats before.

2007- 87r, 16hr, 81rbi, 5sb, 64bb, .276avg, .356obp, .433slg, .789ops
2008- 30r, 3hr, 36rbi, 5sb, 25bb, .249avg, .329obp, .369slg, .698ops
2009- 22r, 5hr, 22rbi, 4sb, 22bb, .258avg, .352obp, .435slg, .787ops

You'll notice that his 2008 performance already pales in comparison to his performance thus far. But remember folks Cuddyer battled injury all season long with finger and foot injuries relegating him to the DL three times.

If he continues at his rate, we're looking at a 90r, 20hr, 90rbi, 16sb guy. All that for free off the waiver wire! I don't think that the stolen base totals will end up that high, but it's possible, after all Matt Holliday had 28 last season, why can't Cuddyer swipe 16?

There are a few things you should know about Cuddyer though-

1- Improved walk rate- A jump from 9.1% to 13% will see anyone benefit. If that player just so happens to swipe a few bags all the better to set a new career high in the department. Coincidence? I think not.

2- High Ground Ball Rate- Yeah that's the down side. It's also likely contributing to his low batting average. An increase from 45.9% to 54.6% could potentially limit his power production over the long haul, and severly impact his batting average. Hopefully a return to career norms in the GB category will help move his batting average up toward his .268 mark.

3- Run Support- Yes that's a pitching stat, but I'm using the title. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau. Two very dangerous hitters. They along with Jason Kubel should provide plenty of RBI opportunities for Cuddyer. But who will bring Mikey around to score? That job will fall primarily to the oft injured Joe Crede. Though it's impossible to tell for certain who will end up batting where, but it seems like a safe bet that Cuddyer will end up with 90rbi, and 70r.

Personally I'm a big fan of Cuddyer, his 2006 super man impression was definately the abberation but if this what you can expect from him (career averages say yes) then sign me up, for those skeptical of Cuddyer I have one question. Is your #5 outfielder better? I didn't think so.

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