Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6'1" Weight: 190 lb
DOB: 11/16/92 (20 years old)
2013 Season Review:
Cuthbert's prospect stock lost a lot of shine after his lackluster 2012 campaign, but given his age relative to competition, all hope was not lost. 2013 was an important developmental year for Cuthbert as he had an opportunity to silence those who doubted his hit tool as well as his makeup. While his final stat line in 2013 might not scream future star, Cheslor Cuthbert had an impressive season that should put some helium back in his prospect status. He started 2013 by repeating Hi-A ball in Wilmington and his success early in the year spoke volumes about his ability to adjust. Cuthbert was still young for the league and showed excellent plate discipline - a huge positive towards his future growth. His developing power did not manifest itself in the HR numbers, but consider he hit 18 doubles in 124 Games last year in Hi-A and followed that up with 21 doubles in 60 Games to start 2013 as he repeat the league. I expect the power to continue to develop and I think Cuthbert is capable of 20-25 HR power during his peak years. His swing is quick, easy, and highly leveraged which could play up if he can harness his hit tool that occasionally flashes plus. The 6 steals this year are nothing to get excited about, as Cuthbert's body is not much of an athletic build and has below-average foot speed already.
Cheslor Cuthbert's season took a turn for the worst when he was promoted to AA mid-season. He slashed a pedestrian .215/.279/.359 and likely left a sour taste in the mouths of many prospect prognosticators. Similar to 2012, his struggles are not necessarily indicative of the talent. Keep in mind he was very young for his level at 20 years old in AA and while his strikeout rate jumped to 19.3% his walk rate remained solid at 7.6%, he improved both in his final month in the season with a 16/12 K/BB ratio in 26 Games. Cuthbert has struggled at every big jump, but continues to make the necessary adjustments and find a way to succeed and to me this means more than putting up gaudy stats in the minor leagues.
I can't help but think about how Cuthbert's season would have ended if the Royals were not so quick to promote him to AA. He struggled a bit to start the season in April and May, but a torrid June with a .395/.477/.658 in 11 games signaled that something started to click and the Royals promptly promoted him mid-June. The remainder of June and July were a big struggle and Cuthbert appeared to find his footing in August. This leaves us looking towards 2014 where Cuthbert will head back to AA as a 21 year old and in need of making more adjustments. I believe the power will develop further and Cuthbert's doubles will turn into home runs. Consistency in Cuthbert's contact ability is another fulcrum point for his prospect value. If he can get back to the 14.6% K% that he showed in Hi-A this year, he should be able to sustain a decent batting average and let his power max out.
ETA and Future Fantasy Value:
With half a season of AA under his belt, it wouldn't be crazy to see Cuthbert at the very end of 2014, but I believe the Royals will give Cuthbert more time to develop and he might see AAA by the end of 2014 with hopes of making a big-league impact in 2015. From a fantasy perspective, Cuthbert's track record suggests he won't make an immediate splash upon his promotion, but when it all clicks he's an impact bat capable of being rosetered in all formats. He's capable of sticking at 3B and during his peak years should find himself towards the bottom of positional top-10 lists. Don't let the subpar statistics fool you, there is a lot going right for Cheslor Cuthbert's development.
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