Michael Cuddyer – 2007 Topps Heritage
June 2, 2011
A New Era In Smed’s Cards!
No, there will still be snark.
No, there still will be junk.
But now, it’s going to feature cards that are NOT doubles, and are part of my bindered (or will be in my bindered) collection.
There’s a good reason for that – my doubles are almost all gone (except for my grab bag friends – and I haven’t forgotten about you all…I just need to wait a skosh)
I recently received a couple of trade packages back from my Spring Cleaning Buds, from Potch Wheeler and the Wit of Dim. I foised a bunch of guys like Bill Scherrer and Wilbur Howard on them, and they gave me stuff from my want list. Sweet!
In fact, this card is from Dimwit. I would have scanned Potch’s classic 1976 Jesse Jefferson card, but I’ve already bindered that. It will make an appearance I’m sure. If there’s one 70’s player you can snark on, it’s Jefferson.
How can you snark on Cuddy, though?
He’s a fan favorite in Minnesota – ‘good in the room’ – and a team leader. He’s willing to step up and play in awkward positions (like second) for the good of the team.
…how should I say this…
…lots of Twins fans will stone me, but…
He’s always been a poor defender. He just doesn’t have the range or arm for right. He was hide-your-eyes at third and doesn’t hit enough to play first, left, or DH. (Well, Delmon Young is hitting like Matt Tolbert this year, but Cuddy couldn’t hit well enough to play LF on a normal (read non-injury ravaged) team.)
(Side note about Delmon. Yes, he was hurt. But he’s 25 and supposedly healthy now, and his OBP AND his SLG are under .300! It’s like if Vlad Guerrero was suddenly transformed into Wilton…)
His offense has been generic. In Minnesota nice, he’s, “OK….”
His high RBI totals, and his MVP votes mask his ability, but I did the numbers.
In 2006, he had a 3.6 OWAR, but his fielding knocked him down to 2.1. That ranked as the ninth best RF in baseball that year. He was the fifth best offensive RF but you gotta play both sides of the ball, as it were.
In 2007, he had a 2.8 OWAR, but his fielding knocked him down to 1.9. That ranked as #15 in baseball that season for RF. Offensively, he was 11th.
In 2009, he had a 3.0 OWAR, but his fielding knocked him down all the way to 1.1. Offensively, he was the 11th best RF in baseball even though he got MVP votes (and didn’t even drive in 100 runs). Overall, he was the 18th best RF in baseball. But he was better than Elijah Dukes!
I know that stats aren’t the be-all and end-all, but they are a tool to evaluate players. And Cuddy hasn’t been worth the money they paid him, even if he has played second this year in a time of desperation.
Right now, nothing besides the entire American League opting to fold could save the Twins. But their playoff appearances papered over that their RF with the good counting stats wasn’t doing the job they thought he was.