Sunday, April 1, 2012

Prospect Countdown: #6 Cheslor Cuthbert

#6 Cheslor Cuthbert

Age: 19
Position: 3B
Height: 6-1
Weight: 190
B./T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent on July 2, 2009
From: Corn Island, Nicaragua

When Cheslor Cuthbert put his name on the dotted line he set a record for the largest bonus ever given out by the Royals to an International Player. The $1.35 million bonus also became the largest bonus ever handed to a Nicaraguan prospect. Just two seasons into Cuthbert's professional career, early returns are very promising.

Cuthbert possesses such an advanced approach that the Royals pushed him to Kane County as an eighteen year old. For three months it appeared as though, even the pitcher friendly Midwest League was a conservative assignment, that is, until the wheels fell off in August. In the final month of the season Cuthbert hit just .135/.280/.208. As a result we are talking about one of the top prospects in the system as opposed to one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

Scouts attributed the downward spiral to physical fatigue. After all Cuthbert had never played a summer full of organized baseball in his entire life. If Cuthbert can maintain his early season performance for an entire season, he will be a beast at the plate. Cuthbert projects as a plus hitter with plus power. I've heard Adrian Beltre comparisons thrown out there in the past.

Personally, I don't imagine Cuthbert ever being the fielder that Beltre is. Cuthbert is considered to be an above average fielder at present and I have heard that he is excellent making plays while coming in. However, there are concerns that his range is fringy and his thickening low half will eventually force him off third.

Cuthbert is going to open the season as the 3 hitter in an intriguing Wilmington order.

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