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OnBaseMachine
05-05-2008, 03:42 PM
Has anyone other than me noticed how well Cumberland is playing in Chattanooga? For those who don't know, Cumberland was acquired by the Reds last July from the Rays in the Jorge Cantu deal. He was just a toss in but he's looking like a steal at this point. After only hitting .246/.303/.347 in the Rays system last year, he was traded to the Reds and assigned to AA Chattanooga where he hit .301/.355/.407. Baseball America and the Rays seemed to like his tools but his plate discipline was below average. Here is what Baseball America had to say about him after the trade:

Tampa Bay harbored high hopes for Cumberland, the club's 10th-round pick from a Florida high school in 2003, but the right fielder had yet to translate his tools to on-field production. Even though the 22-year-old was batting just .246/.303/.347 for Montgomery at the time of the trade, he offers speed, arm strength, budding power from the left side and the athleticism to play all three outfield spots. Cumberland's trouble has been plate discipline, as he gives away too many at-bats. His brother Drew, a shortstop, was a Padres supplemental first-round pick in June.

Back to me. This season Cumberland has greatly improved his plate discipline. After posting a 36 BB/91 K ratio in 467 atbats last season, he's at 14 BB/12 K in 76 atbats so far this year. That improved plate discipline had led to a huge improvement at the plate. He's hitting .355/.456/.605 - 1.061 OPS through 76 atbats. He won't turn 24 years old until the first of August, and if he keeps hitting like this we could see him in Cincinnati sometime in September. He needs to work on his base stealing skills, but may he be the Reds leadoff hitter of the future? As BA notes, he's got the athleticism to play CF, so could we see him playing CF and leading off for the Reds next year?

lollipopcurve
05-05-2008, 03:53 PM
Has anyone other than me noticed how well Cumberland is playing in Chattanooga?

Yes. I've mentioned him a couple times elsewhere.....

I think they'll move him one level at a time. I doubt he's a major league starter, but who knows?

OnBaseMachine
05-05-2008, 04:01 PM
I think they'll move him one level at a time. I doubt he's a major league starter, but who knows?

Why not? He's got major league tools. The only thing that's held him back has been poor plate discipline and seems to have put that behind him, and his power is developing nicely. I don't think he'll be a star or anything like that, but a solid major leaguer is very possible. If he can play a solid CF and get on base at a .350+ clip he could be a real solid asset to a major league team.

Doc. Scott
05-05-2008, 04:25 PM
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/C/Shaun-Cumberland.shtml

He was also pushed up the ladder fairly aggressively by the Rays. He was in the Appalachian League at 18, the NYP League at 19, the Midwest League at 20, the California League at 21 and the Southern League at 22 despite cracking an 750 OPS just once. While he has historically drawn fewer walks than you'd like to see, he also doesn't strike out quite as often as some other guys of his type (i.e. Chris Dickerson, BJ Szymanski), only really piling 'em up in 2006 in High-A (133 in 126 games). Yeah, he also had 100 the year before in Low-A, but that was in 119 games. A little high, but not monstrously so. Last year he whiffed 91 times in 130 SL games.

His single biggest problem seems to have been driving the ball consistently, not making contact. Now that he's repeating AA perhaps his physical maturity has caught up to the level of the league he's in. He's listed at 6'3"/180# on the Baseball Cube (likely from 2003), and 6'2"/185# on minorleaguebaseball.com, so it would imply that he has room to fill out.

RedlegJake
05-05-2008, 04:27 PM
Cumberland suffers from the bad beginning syndrome. Now he is a "show me" prospect. He needs to put up these numbers for a full year, then move up and do it again at Louisville. It would be great to get an "out of the blue" CFer. With Danny Dorn and Keltavious Jones, Cumberland makes my "after the Bruce" outfield prospect list. 1 of these guys just might be a pleasant surprise in a year or two.

lollipopcurve
05-05-2008, 07:44 PM
Why not? He's got major league tools. The only thing that's held him back has been poor plate discipline and seems to have put that behind him, and his power is developing nicely. I don't think he'll be a star or anything like that, but a solid major leaguer is very possible. If he can play a solid CF and get on base at a .350+ clip he could be a real solid asset to a major league team.

I don't know -- just guessing. A lot of guys have hot months. A little rustling of power, and some nice plate discipline does bode well. I hope your optimism is well-founded.