Sunday, March 24, 2013

Prospect Countdown: #7 Cheslor Cuthbert

7. Cheslor Cuthbert Third Baseman

Age: 20
Position: 3B
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 190
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent in 2010
From: Corn Island, Nicaragua

Paden Bennett (10):  I still have faith in Cheslor Cuthbert even after his terrible season in Wilmington last season.  Cuthbert is still only 20 years old so he's got time to make adjustments.  I think this is a big year for Cuthbert, I know he is still young but I think a lot of KC fans including me would like to see him take the next step and show us that he can become the player that we envisioned.  Cuthbert needs to drive the ball this season (only .322 slug last year) and continue to improve on his plate discipline.

Joe Cox (11)It is hard to remember that Cheslor Cuthbert is only 20 years old, as he has been a top prospect for the Royals since being signed in 2010.  Cuthbert still shows very raw skills but was not able to figure out the Carolina league last season.  Defensively Cuthbert has the ability to be a decent third baseman and should be able to stick at the position in the near future.

Offensively Cuthbert has also showed some signs to be happy.  He was able to cut down his strikeouts and has a caveat of playing in a notoriously difficult park to hit in.  His walks did decline and his .082 isolated power needs to improve.  The jury is still out on Cuthbert, and there is a good chance that he will have the entire 2013 season to learn to play in High-A.  Time is still on his side and he still shows enough raw skill to consider him a future everyday player if everything breaks in his favor.

Damion Mandalas (13):  Cuthbert shot up Royals prospect rankings thanks to a fantastic first half as an 18 year old in Kane County. The former Nicaraguan bonus baby has maintained his status for two primary reasons. First, reports are that he still shows excellent power in batting practice. Second, he still is very young for his level. In fact, among Carolina League regulars there wasn't a younger player than Cuthbert in 2012.

I still like Cuthbert, but officials in the Royals organization will tell you that 2013 is a huge year for the young third baseman. At this point, he hasn't performed at the plate for about 20 months. One would think that a return trip to the Carolina League would be a given, but there have been rumblings that the Royals want to continue to push him. Ultimately, my guess is he opens 2013 at third and hitting third for the Wilmington Blue Rocks. 

Dan Ware (5):  The legend of Cheslor Cuthbert was something no other organization in baseball could even dream of possessing.  Signed as a 17 year old, the Nicaraguan was sought out to be one of the best prospects in our organization.  Since last year's disappointing season from Cuthbert, the level of hype has decreased quite a bit.  Last year, Cuthbert was one of the youngest hitters in the Carolina League, so I'll give him that.

Full seasons can have big effects on a young body, but that shouldn't be an excuse anymore.  From my research, you can see 2 different versions of Cuthbert: One that gives it his all and shows great prowess at the plate and at third base, the other could simply not give a hoot.  The ability to hit is there, the power potential will come, fielding can improve (one could hope after committing 20 errors for Wilmington).  It's a matter of maturing and playing every single game like it's your last.  If Cuthbert can do that, he'll soar through the organization.  In the meantime, playing a bit more in Wilmington this coming season would be ideal for Cheslor.  

Total Points: 85

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