BLUF: Raw offensive ceiling with some average and power, but bat-only projection.
The Player: Cheslor Cuthbert (3B, Kansas City Royals) – Signed as a 16-year old by the Royals and debuted in the Arizona Complex League in 2010 with a .250/.314/.422 line in 32 games across two levels. Adavnced to Low-A Kane County in 2011, he hit .267/.345/.397 line in 81 games with 13 doubles and eight home runs. Continued promotion schedule with 124 games at High-A in 2012, hitting only .240 with 18 doubles and seven home runs.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Industry Contacts
Body (6-1, 190): Has a body type that can play at the position. Must improve conditioning and mature physically. Gets thick in the lower half and loses mobility. Not a good body but can play. Modest athleticism.
Hit: Has natural hitting ability but expands strike zone and must improve pitch recognition. Bat control is lacking at times but shows enough feel that you can project improvement. Hitting ability is largely to the pull side but shows occasional feel for using the opposite field. Hands can be quick and short to the ball, but also get caught in the trigger when focus is lacking. Needs an improved approach to maximize hitting ability and allow offensive tools to manifest. Has average potential to hit but lots of uncertainty whether he can get there. Grade – 30/50
Power: Huge range of possibilities. Bat speed and strength are projectable enough to believe in average to slightly better power. Bat was slow at times in 2012, causing him to be late to the zone and sapping his in-game power. A refined approach will allow strength to play. Power is all projection right now but I believe in the natural ability to barrel the ball and drive it, particularly to the pull side. Grade (raw power) – 30/50
Arm: Easy plus arm that works at third base. Good carry across diamond. Accuracy fades because of inconsistent footwork, leading to throwing errors. Grade – 60/60
Fielding: Sloppy defender. Doesn’t appear to take defensive game seriously. Lacks range, only showing ability to get to balls one or two steps away. Doesn’t come in well and struggles to read hops on hard-hit balls. Lacks defensive projection because of lack of athleticism and instincts at the position. Lacks profile to play anywhere other than 3B and would be forced to 1B if defense doesn’t improve. Grade – 20/30
Speed: Bottom of the scale runner with 4.70-4.80 times to first. No projection for improvement. Poor base running instincts and potential to be a base clogger. Grade – 20/20
Summation: Potential .270-.280 hitters with 15-20 home runs if everything maximizes with the bat. Very raw and must take a more serious approach to developing his offensive game. Immense pressure on the bat to perform. Outside of arm strength, lacks defensive tools or defensive projection. Poor runner. Bat-first prospect with potential to be bat only. Raw tools have to evolve for bat to project at a reasonable level. High flame-out potential. If ceiling is reached, potential solid-average third baseman or fringe-average first baseman.
Relative Risk: High. The offensive game has to be maximized for him to be a valuable player.
Future: The scouting reports changed dramatically from 2011 to 2012 and that leaves a lot of uncertainty. Would benefit from repeating High-A to at least start 2013. Is unlikely to be on the big-league radar until late 2015.