Hall of Fame Case: Michael Cuddyerby John Lepore December 19, 2020 1 comment
Michael Cuddyer had a productive 15-year career, winning a batting title and even getting a few MVP votes a couple of times. Let’s take a look at his Hall of Fame case.
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The Minnesota Twins drafted Michael Brent Cuddyer out of Great Bridge HS (VA) in 1997 with the ninth pick. He made his way through the Twins system and finally debuted in 2001. Cuddyer started getting regular at-bats in 2004, playing in 115 games all over the diamond. As a super-utility player for a couple of years, he saw time at first, second, third, and the outfield. He finally settled into right field in 2006 and had one of his best offensive seasons. Cuddyer slashed .284/.362/.504 with 24 home runs. He also scored 102 runs while driving in 109.
In 2008, he missed July and August due to a dislocated finger. Cuddyer then bounced back in 2009 setting a career-high with 32 HRs. The next two years were also productive and Cuddyer made his first All-Star appearance in 2011. It was also his final season with the Twins. During the offseason, Cuddyer signed a three-year deal with the Colorado Rockies. Following a lackluster 2012, he bounced back strong in 2013 and won the National League batting title with a .331 average. Cuddy also earned a Silver Slugger and made his second, and last, All-Star Game. He signed with the New York Mets in 2015 and after making it to the World Series, Cuddyer decided to retire after a 15-year major league career.
The batting title in 2013 is a plus, albeit playing at Coors Field. His .277 career average looks decent and a 113 OPS+ puts him above average overall offensively. Cuddyer was very good in the postseason, especially for the Twins. With Minnesota, Cuddy slashed .338/.372/.473 in 78 plate appearances. He was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame in 2017.
His counting stats fall quite short of consideration. Cuddyer had 1,522 hits, 197 HRs, and 794 RBIs in his career. Despite playing 15 seasons, he only played more than 120 games in seven of those. Aside from the two All-Star nods and the batting title, there are no other accolades.
The fact Cuddyer is on the ballot is an accomplishment. A decent career for sure, but we won’t see his name on the ballot next year.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images