Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ex-Twins watch: Michael Cuddyer

Michael Cuddyer is hitting .339.394/.573 so far this year.

Colorado is a great place to hit, so it's not necessarily a surprise that Michael Cuddyer is putting up good numbers this year.

But his OPS+ — a stat that aims to remove park effects from a hitter's production — is still far above anything he's put up in the past. Even on the road, Cuddyer's slash line is .314/.364/.500. That's better than any full season he's ever had.

Cuddyer's 2012 was a bit of a disappointment. He missed a third of the season, and he had his lowest batting average for any 100-game season — and when you factor in Coors Field, it's even worse. Contrasted to Josh Willingham's career year, the Twins definitely got the advantage in swapping out Cuddy for the Hammer as their right-handed middle-of-the-order hitter.

This year is a different story. Cuddyer is riding a 21-game hitting streak. Even better, he's reached base in 40 straight games. Willingham, doubtless hampered by a troublesome knee (even if he insists otherwise), is having his worst season as a major league regular.

The Rockies are slightly above .500 at this point, and while that may not last, they've been better than almost anyone expected. Cuddyer's been a significant part of that.

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