With three hits on Sunday against the Washington Nationals, Colorado Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer extended his hitting streak to a major league season-high 21 games. Since the start of the streak on May 28, he is hitting .368 (32-for-87) with three home runs and 14 RBI, and he is hitting .339 with 11 home runs, 43 RBI and a .573 slugging percentage in 56 games (218 at-bats) this season.
Cuddyer has missed time with multiple injuries this season, most recently a bruised rib cage that kept him out for a week earlier this month. He spent time on the disabled list in May with a disc issue in his neck, and missed a few games in April due to a couple of minor injuries. Cuddyer was also limited to just 101 games last season, his first with the Rockies, by a right oblique strain that he originally suffered in August and later sidelined him for the rest of the season.
At age 34, can fantasy baseball owners expect Cuddyer to sustain his current pace over the rest of the season?
Cuddyer’s 2013 batted ball peripherals are close to his career normals all-around. But entering Sunday’s game he was hitting slightly more line drives than he did last season (21.4 percent; 20.4 percent in 2012), with fewer ground balls (45.1 percent; 48.6 percent in 2012) and more fly balls (33.5 percent; 31 percent in 2012). The one big outlier to this point is Cuddyer’s batting average on balls in play (BABIP), which is .386 this season (through Sunday’s game) after being .292 last season.
Cuddyer’s multiple position eligibility (outfield and first base) enhances his value in fantasy leagues, but his current batting average is not sustainable and there is a lingering risk that he will miss time due to injury as the season goes on. Owners that are benefitting from Cuddyer’s current hot streak, and are well-situated in the outfield, should consider trading him now at the peak of his value.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.