Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 2/8/13
Injuries limited Michael Cuddyer‘s overall production last year after three straight years of top-100 caliber performances. His batting average on the year was just .260, the lowest average in a semi-full season over his career, but oddly enough that average came despite a 20.4% line drive rate, his highest since posting a 20.6% rate back in 2006 when he batted .284. In both 2010 and 2011, Cuddyer’s batting averages and expected batting averages (xBA) were nearly identical. Last year his xBA was .315, so we can safely conclude that Lady Luck wasn’t on Cuddyer’s side. It’s true that his K:BB ratio (0.41) was a career worst and had been trending down for the last two years, but remember how good his line drive rate was, and his infield fly rate was also his best since 2004 (8.0%). Cuddyer is a career .271 hitter, and that’s probably around where he’ll bat this year (we have him pegged at .279). His value in fantasy comes from the balance he brings, posting average or better numbers in all five categories. He’s in a good spot in Colorado, batting fifth in Coors Field, so a 30-homer season is a possibility if he can correct the recent three-year trend of low fly ball rates. At a Glance Strengths: none Neutral: R, HR, RBI, SB, BA, OBP, SLG, OPS Weaknesses: none Player Comparisons Best-case scenario: Yoenis Cespedes (OAK) Likely scenario: Torii Hunter (DET), Chase Utley (PHI), Asdrubal Cabrera (CLE) Worst-case scenario: David Murphy (TEX) Michael Cuddyer 2013 Fantasy Projection Eric Young Jr. aside, a switch hitter who’s never really going to work his way into the lineup because of his hitting, Cuddyer is Colorado’s only right-handed outfield bat. That means he’ll definitely be in the lineup against left-handed pitchers, but he’ll probably get some time off against right-handers to give Tyler Colvin‘s power a chance to shine. And while Todd Helton is old and can’t handle the rigors of playing every day, super-utility man Jordan Pacheco will steal at-bats at first base. Cuddyer has hit 20+ homers three times in his career, and last year he was well on his way to making it four. The problem is that from 2010-2012, Cuddyer posted fly ball rates below his career average, and fewer fly balls means fewer homers. His 18.2% HR/FB rate last year was a new career high, something we’d expect in his first year in Colorado, so if he can get back to the 35-38% HR/FB rate and stay on the field for 145 games, a 27-30 homer season is in play. That would probably come with a 90-RBI season and a nice .280+ average as well. Because of his ballpark Cuddyer is someone to take a chance on, and I deem him one of the safer, balanced options you’ll be able to find. Tweet
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rivers believes Gates' PED use was unintentional

Favre felt 'bothered' by Green Bay's decision to trade him

Ned Yost explains Alex Rodriguez’s All-Star Game snub

Donovan McNabb arrested for DUI after rear-ending car

It is progress time for the Philadelphia 76ers

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Andrew Luck talks Super Bowl hopes and Patriots

Rapper rips David West for taking pay cut to join Spurs

Report: Kevin Garnett will return for 21st NBA season

Packers plan to keep TE Andrew Quarless despite arrest

Russell Wilson: God spoke to me after Super Bowl-losing INT

Cam Newton training with Aussie rules football team

Cardinals send rookies to Starbucks to pick up order

Mark Cuban fined for discussing Matthews and Jordan deals

Baseball's most productive low-authority hitters of all-time

USWNT's World Cup triumph four years in the making

Cubs announcer defends saying 'no-hitter' during game

MLB scout hiring and pay practices challenged in lawsuit

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

Gronk, David Ortiz in latest Dunkin Donuts iced coffee video

Bridgewater on Vikings: 'we’re not as good as what we think'

Floyd Mayweather officially stripped of welterweight title

Mo Williams signs 2-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers

Carli Lloyd had vision she would score four goals in World Cup Final

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

Gronk, David Ortiz in latest Dunkin Donuts iced coffee video

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Video shows De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Report: Giants pull offer to Pierre-Paul

Report: Jordan was tired of Chris Paul

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.