Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Outfield update (you knew I'd leave out something)

The A's have a lot of extra outfielders. A guy I love and one the Reds should target is Aaron Cunningham. (He's currenly on the Blue Sox roster, but missed minor league eligibility by a couple days, so probably will not be kept this year. So I wouldn't mind seeing the Reds get him.)
He hasn't been on a lot of the top-prospects lists, but in '07 in the minors, in 127 games, he hit .308/.375/.509, with 16 hr's, 77 rbi's, and 28 sb's. (He did get caught 14 times, which means his technique could use some work -- like with Billy Hatcher.)

In '08, he improved in the minors over several levels. In 107 games he hit .329/.400/.532, with 17 hr's, 66 rbi's, and 15 sb's (caught 5 times). He then hit the Bigs for September, batting only .250/.310/.400, with 1hr, 14 rbi's, and 2 sb's (o cs). Not a bad line, but not great. He's sort of the opposite of Chris Dickerson.

Here's the problem, his strike outs have increased dramatically. In '07, he struck out 89 times to 51 walks in 127 games. In '08 in the minors, he struck out 108 times to only 49 walks in 107 games. This is a little less scary because his power numbers jumped some. And even with the strikeouts, because of the boost in batting average, his OBP increased, as well. In the Bigs, he struck out 24 times in 22 games with only six walks. Not great, but a small sample size. His '08 was a success on almost any measurement scale, and he's only 22 (turning 23 in April).

I know what you're saying, don't we already have Bruce and Stubbs to do this better (and cheaper -- see previous post). My response: I know, but I like Cunningham, certainly more than Dickerson, and I think he would provide great depth even if he doesn't beat out Stubbs/Freel/Hopper to start in center. Even though Cunningham has not been rated a top prospect, I think we need the depth there, with Stubbs are only legit outfield prospect right now.

What to give for him? I don't know, but it shouldn't take much. The A's are loaded with similar outfield types with Travis Buck, Eric Patterson, Matt Murton, et al. Plus, they just traded for Matt Holiday, so I dont' see A.C. in their future plans.

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