28-Year-Old Pitcher – Cincinnati Reds
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Cueto presents one of the tougher draft decisions for 2014. When healthy, he pitched like an ace once again. Alas, "when healthy" is the operative phrase, as Cueto had multiple trips to the DL, all re...
Johnny Cueto Contract Information:
Cueto agreed to a four-year, $27 million contract with the Reds in January of 2011.
The Reds will employ more defensive shifts this season, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. A pitcher like Cueto or Mike Leake, who don't strike out as many batters as their teammates in the rotation, could benefit the most.
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|2014 RotoWire Projections||MAJ||Subscribe now to see our 2014 projections for Johnny Cueto|
|Career (View All)||MAJ||161||160||2||964.7||905||378||102||753||299||65||48||0||–||–||3.53||1.25|
|Last 14 Days
2 Games: Avg. 6.0 IP/G
|Last 30 Days
2 Games: Avg. 6.0 IP/G
|Last 60 Days
2 Games: Avg. 6.0 IP/G
Johnny Cueto Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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|2014 Projections||MAJ||Subscribe now to see our 2014 projections for Johnny Cueto|
2013 Stat Review for Johnny Cueto As compared to the top 100 starting pitchers in 2013 (min 140 in)
A collection of stats that measure different skills.
A few general measures of a pitcher's effectiveness.
Balls in play avg. and % of runners left stranded.
2014 Projected Stats Breakdown for Johnny Cueto
2014 projections compared to top pitchers in 2013.
Cincinnati Reds Roster
MajorsBailey, Homer (P)
AAAAnderson, Bryan (C)
AAContreras, Carlos (P)
A+Arias, Junior (OF)
ACisco, Drew (P)
RookieArmstrong, Mark (P)
Career Pitcher vs. Batter Stats (View All Matchup Data)
Worst Matchups for Johnny Cueto (by OPS against, min 9 AB)
Best Matchups for Johnny Cueto (by OPS against, min 9 AB)
Johnny Cueto: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
For two years running Cueto has performed beyond what his ERA estimators suggest he should, posting sub-3.00 ERAs despite a strikeout rate that peaked at 7.1 K/9 in 2012. How does Cueto do it? He cut his walk rate to a stingy 2.0 BB/9, he suppressed homers (0.6 HR/9) despite pitching in a homer-friendly park, and he completely shut down the opposing team's running game (allowing just one stolen base against him each of the last two seasons). The only red flag is the oblique injury Cueto suffered in the playoffs - this after a season in which he and every other Reds starter made 30-plus starts. Cueto is the rare player that could bring you a profit while others warn of regression.
Cueto's brilliant 2011 season was book-ended by injuries, limiting him to 156 innings. In between, however, he was the Reds' stopper, falling just a few innings short of qualifying for the ERA title (and, as it turns out, falling just behind Clayton Kershaw anyhow). Once again, he traded strikeouts and walks for more balls in play, which can be a dangerous combination in the Great American Ball Park. But it's worth noting that he has not lost any velocity from his average fastball dating back to his rookie season - so this is more of a conscious change than a concession to lessened abilities. Because Cueto hasn't topped 200 innings in a season and because of his drop in strikeouts, you shouldn't pay full freight on him, but if he can remain healthy he'll still turn a profit on your purchase.
A quick look at Cueto's numbers show that he has made an effort to become more pitch efficient at the cost of a few extra strikeouts. He lowered his walk rate and his home run rate two years in a row, and the tradeoff has been worth it. Cueto lowered his ERA below 4.00 and threw more innings than he was in his previous two seasons. Look for more of the same in 2011.
Cueto's strikeout rated dropped significantly (8.17 K/9IP down to 6.93) in 2009, though some of that was at the behest of the Reds, who wanted him to be more pitch-efficient than in his rookie season. We're not convinced, however, that's the sole reason for the drop. Cueto's velocity on his fastball declined over the summer before he needed a brief DL trip to rest his shoulder. This came after he pitched in winter ball and in the WBC last spring. This year, the Reds prevented him from playing winter ball, citing an "extreme fatigue" clause in his contract. There's a lot of talent with Cueto, but also a lot of reasons for concern.
Like teammate Jay Bruce, Cueto might be viewed as a small disappointment because he debuted with such a splash. Look at his season in context - he's a 22-year-old rookie with hardly any experience in the upper levels of the minors. We'll take 158 strikeouts in 174 innings anytime. Health-permitting, Cueto will have his share of good seasons. The next step for him will be to learn how to be pitch-efficient. Far too often he had to leave short of six full innings pitched after racking up a high pitch-count.
Like Jay Bruce, Cueto built off a great 2006 campaign with an even better 2007, tearing through three levels of the minors. He improved as he went up the ladder, including four sizzling starts at Triple-A Louisville. At this point in time, he might even be more refined than teammate Homer Bailey. Depending on what other moves the offseason brings, the Reds might be tempted to insert Cueto immediately into the starting rotation, especially if he has a good spring. They might instead want to have him begin in Louisville to develop a little more and refrain from starting his service time clock, or have him work out of the bullpen at the major league level, using the "Earl Weaver" method of breaking in prospect pitchers.
A graduate of the Reds' Dominican Academy, Cueto really took off in 2006, breezing through low-A Dayton before holding his own in 12 starts at high-A Sarasota as a 20-year old. He might need a little more time to master the Florida State League, but it's at least encouraging to see he sustained his high strikeout rate upon being promoted. He may not have the star upside of Homer Bailey, but Cueto could be a building block for the Reds' future.