Key Stats: Cuddyer isn’t a stud, but he is a guy I would like to have on my team. He has a career .272 AVG, has a 30 HR and 100 RBI season under his belt, and even contributed double digits in steals last year. Granted the level at which he has done this is inconsistent from year to year, but what makes him more valuable to us is his roster flexibility. Cuddyer is eligible at 1B, 2B, OF. In 2010 he even chipped in 14 games at 3B, so there is a chance we could again see eligibility for him there again too.
Skeptics Say: He isn’t a stud himself but he really needs one or two of those types around him to play to his maximum potential. His two best years are 2006 and 2009, which coincidentally are also seasons that Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer were at the top of their game. I’m not a sabermetrics expert by any means, but I can’t find anything consistant in his career numbers other than inconsistencies. The only explaination I can give about his great years is they were accompanied by superstars on his team playing well.
Peer Comparison: Cuddyer’s real value comes from his ability to produce above average numbers from multiple positions. According to RotoChamp Cuddyer was the 102nd ranked player in fantasy last year. The other notable Swiss Army Knives in baseball last year (guys that were eligible at 3 positions or more) were:
#103 Ryan Roberts
#197 Martin Prado
#259 Omar Infante
#262 Ty Wigginton
No one was ranked higher with the range of position eligibility than Cuddyer.
Team Outlook: As of now Cuddyer doesn’t have a team. Where he ends up, what park he is playing in and who is hitting around him is going to have a big impact on how he produces. As of now people think he is going to be sticking with the Twins, which is bad news for fantasy owners. The Rockies were trying to get him and for our selfish needs we would have much rather seen him go there. So, projecting him to stay with Minnesota, not only is going to be playing in that horrible hitting park half the time, but we also need to count on bounceback seasons from Morneau and Mauer. Mauer I still have hope for (never really considered him a power threat even after his 2009 season) but Morneau? Not so much…
Projection: Based on him playing in Minnesota again, and based on the lineup they have currently, Cuddyer will put up acceptable numbers, but I don’t think he is going to approach the type of production we have seen from him in the past. I actually think if we were to take his career average numbers (HR’s RBI, Runs, steals) that would give us a fairly acurate projection of how he will do, based on his career ups and downs from year to year.
.270 AVG, 20 HR, 80 RBI, 68 Runs, 9 steals, .340 OBP, .773 OPS in 550 AB’s