Friday, February 21, 2014

Prospect Countdown: #15 Cheslor Cuthbert

15. Cheslor Cuthbert Third Baseman

Age: 21
Position: 3B
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 190
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent in 2010
From: Corn Island, Nicaragua 

2013 Rank: 4

2012 Rank: 5

2011 Rank: 5

2010 Rank: 9

Landon Adams (20): Cheslor Cuthbert is a somewhat difficult player to evaluate. He really hasn't done that much at the plate since a strong first half in the Midwest League in 2011 in which he posted OPS of .870, .809, and .911 in the first three months of the season. At the time the buzz around the high profile signing from Nicaragua was tremendous. Even after he dropped to a .474 August, there was plenty of hype surrounded the 18 year old third baseman the following off-season.

Since his initial surge in full season ball, Cuthbert has been pushed in the Royals minor league system. In 2014, he will head back to Northwest Arkansas as just a 21 year old, so the good news is that he continues to have age on his side. Scouting reports, while not as glowing as they were two years ago, still state that Cuthbert projects to be a good Major Leaguge hitter. 

Most of Cuthbert's troubles last season stemmed from his inability to hit left handed pitching. On the year, he hit .170/.243/.233 against them and .266/.344/.427 against right handers. This obviously is a bit strange as Cuthbert is a right handed hitter himself. Cuthbert didn't show a split like this in his first two seasons, so I'm hopeful that there are some other factors at play. 

Cuthbert will probably never be the superstar that some of us were hoping for in August of 2011. However, it would also be way too early to count him out entirely. Thanks to the age and the level, there can still be hope that Cuthbert can figure it out and hit like he did a couple of years ago. I'm looking forward to seeing him in Northwest Arkansas this season.

Paden Bennett (15): Oh Cheslor.  I have been waiting and waiting for Cuthbert to have that big breakout year that really gives us that glimpse of that potential that we have been hearing about.  It just hasn't really came yet.  Last year in Wilmington, he had his best season to date with a .280/.354/.418 slash line in 254 at bats.  Not bad for a 20 year old in Frawley Stadium, but still it's nothing really to get excited about either.  Cuthbert really struggled in his time for Northwest Arkansas but I'm not making too much of it since he was only 20 years old.  I'm not done believing in Cuthbert by any means.  I just want to see some big steps forward soon, I hope that it's this season.

Joe Cox (14): Cheslor Cuthbert is a name that Royals fans have been hearing about since his first year with the organization in 2010.  In 2013, the now 21 year old continued his slow climb through the minor league system splitting his time between Wilmington and NW Arkansas.  It was a tale of two halves for Cuthbert.  In high A Wilmington, Cuthbert had 254 at bats and managed only two home runs and one stolen base.  He did manage a solid line of .280/.354/.418, and coupled that with a walk rate of 10.6% and a solid K% of 14.6. 

In just ten more at bats in AA, Cuthbert struggled with the bat, lowering his walks and upping his strike outs and producing an OPS of just .637.  I won’t knock Cuthbert for struggling as a 20 year old in his first shot at AA, but it is starting to look like Cuthbert is an ok at everything good at nothing player.  The Royals did add him to the 40 man roster earlier in the winter, but he is still nowhere close to the majors and has yet to show that he will be able to produce at the upper levels.  Still only 21, Cuthbert has time to improve, but it is imperative he takes a step forward in 2014.  Chances are Cuthbert sees what he can do in AA again this season.

Dan Ware (11): The 21 year old Nicaraguan native split up his 2013 playing time between Wilmington and NW Arkansas. On Royal Revival's Prospect Countdown, Cuthbert sits at #15, eight spots lower than last season's campaign. His first 60 games played were with the Blue Rocks and while he hit a career best .280/.354/.418 on his 2nd go-around in the Carolina League, a move to the Texas League proved to be much more challenging for Cheslor.  While playing 64 games for the Naturals, hitting .215/.279/.359, he did manage to hit 6 HR and collect 27 RBI.  Although his K rate increased and BB rate decreased in his Double-A debut, the Royals believe there isn't any notable mechanical issues with his swing.  Most likely, he'll be wearing a Naturals uniform to start 2014.

Nicholas Allen (--): Don't get caught up in the numbers when it comes to Cheslor Cuthbert. Few players can keep their heads above water in the Texas League at twenty years old. However, if looking for positive signs: his slash improved the longer he was in NW Arkansas, from .211/.230/.351 in June to .234/.327/.404 in August. Cuthbert also hits right-handed pitching well, including a .310/.384/.466 line in 174 at bats in Wilmington. Cuthbert is mature, with good makeup, and has a solid set of tools, with defense being the strongest. The club obviously likes him, and has been aggressively challenging him. Look for a full season with the Naturals in 2014.

Total Points: 64

No comments:

Post a Comment