If you were told that, through 63 games played, a member of the Colorado Rockies would have a 27-game hitting streak and would be hitting .339 with a .968 OPS to go along with 14 home runs and 48 RBIs, it’s hard to believe that you guess anyone other than either Carlos Gonzalez or Troy Tulowitzki. The player putting up those stats, though, is Michael Cuddyer.
Despite missing 21 games due to a neck injury, Cuddyer has absolutely been crushing it for the Rockies this season. The most amazing part of this season for the Colorado right fielder, though, is just how unexpected the season he’s having is.
Coming into this season, Cuddyer’s career high batting average was just .284 in 2011 and he’s just a .274 hitter for his career. Obviously, he’s on pace to crush that mark this season. Moreover, Cuddyer was relatively quiet in his first season with Colorado last year, playing in 101 games and hitting just .260 with only 16 home runs and 58 RBIs. He’s almost matched those numbers in 38 fewer games this season.
One of the things that really stands out about Cuddyer’s season is his batting average on balls in play. Right now, his BABIP is currently sitting at an astronomical .374. Considering that an average BABIP normally falls between .290 and .310 and that Cuddyer’s career BABIP is just .308, that’s a good indicator that he is going to regress as the season goes on.
However, the thing that needs to be mentioned is that he might not regress as much as people might think. One of the noticeable things about Cuddyer’s season is that he currently has a 21.4 percent line-drive percentage, the second highest rate of his career, while having just a 45.3 percent groundball percentage, one of the lowest marks of the career. That means that Cuddyer is making solid contact when he connects this season, meaning more balls in play are going to fall for hits.
Is it still more likely than not that Cuddyer’s stats will slip a little bit? Absolutely; this season is too much of an anomaly compared to his career to believe otherwise. However, his numbers may not falter as much as you may think and the 34-year-old will likely end up setting some new career-highs.