Mailbag Question: Cedric Hunter

Reader David J. sends in this email about Padres prospect Cedric Hunter:

I know you, as well as many others, were once high on Ced Hunter.  He was so athletic coming out of school and had that killer debut in Arizona.  He was solid enough, but not remarkable in the MWL and at Elsinore, and seemed pretty viable.

Then 2009 happened...

Now that he's rebounding this year, I'm trying to figure out what to make of him.

Offensively, he doesn't strike out and has finally decided it's not a disgrace to take a walk (it looks like he might set his new career high in walks by mid-July).  He's got awesome hand-eye coordination and his quick swing really lets him wait to go after his pitches - something he seems to have figured out somewhere between August and May.  But, he has developed little power (even accounting for being a lefty at Wolff Stadium) and seems fairly unlikely to at this point.  If he can maintain his new-found patience at the plate, I guess he profiles decently in the second spot in a lineup.

BUT...

Defensively, he's probably not good enough to play CF - especially given Jed Hoyer's new focus on players who are built for Petco Park.  He's quick, but he's not fast; his arm is neutral, his routes are not remarkable, and he is still prone to lapses in the field.  Add to that his inexplicable regression on the basepaths after two years of trying to prove he might have some tiny amount of instincts as a base-stealer...

I just don't know what to make.  Are his skill sets finally catching up to his tools, or is he a tease who is destined to be a tweener?

*******************************


Hunter is hitting .305/.375/.414 this year for Double-A San Antonio. His power is still unimpressive as David points out, but his plate discipline is much better this year, with a 31/21 BB/K in 266 at-bats. He's repeating the league, which is a negative, but he's still just 22 years old, which means he isn't at a bad spot on the age curve relative to other Double-A players.

I used to be very high on Hunter, but at this point I don't know what to think either and don't have any genuine advice to offer David. My guess is that Hunter will never develop much additional power, and that he's something like a "natural" .280 hitter who can hit anywhere from .300 to .260 in any given year depending on luck and BABIP.Most of his value will be tied into his batting average unless his power unexpected spikes or unless he gets his stolen base percentage back to a reasonable level. Right now he looks like a possible reserve outfielder to me, but there's still a chance he could get beyond that.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Minor League Ball

You must be a member of Minor League Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Minor League Ball. You should read them.

Join Minor League Ball

You must be a member of Minor League Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Minor League Ball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker