2015 NL Champion Mets Player Michael Cuddyer (2015)

Michael Brent Cuddyer was born on March 27th, 1979, in Norfolk, Virginia. His parents are Henry & Marcia, he has one sister named Katie.

He attended Great Bridge high school at Chesapeake, Virginia where he was an all-around star athlete.

Cuddyer excelled in football, basketball & baseball, where he eventually won the 1997 Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year in his senior year. In 1996 he was part of the Bronze medal winning Team USA club. The six foot two, right hand hitting Cuddyer plays outfield, first base, third & second base.

David Wright's Pal: Cuddyer is a childhood friend to former Mets Captain, David Wright. The two have remained close friends their entire lives. 

Also in 1997, he was the Minnesota Twins number one pick (the 9th pick overall) but did not sign until that August. 

Twins Career: By 2001 he was hitting 30 HRs at AA New Britain & got a late call up to the Twins big league team. Cuddyer debuted on September 23rd in a 4-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians. He walked in his first at bat then later doubled for his first MLB hit. In eight games he hit .222.

In 2002 he played most of the year at AAA Edmonton, where he hit 20 HRs & hit .309 in 86 games. He was back up with the Twins for 41 games batting .259. On July 20th he hit his first career HR, it came off Jamie Walker & the Detroit Tigers in a 14-4 romp at Tiger Stadium. In that game he had his first four RBI game as well as collecting three hits. 

2002 Post Season: That season he played in his first post season, collecting five hits in the ALDS against the Oakland A's hitting .385. This was the only year he would get past the ALDS in six trips to that series while in Minnesota. 

In 2003 he had another season back & forth to the minors as well as the Twins team. In 35 games he batted .245 with 4 HRs & 8 RBIs.

2003 Post Season- ALDS: He went 1-4 playing in Game #4 of the loss to the AL New York club.

By 2004 he was up for good with the Twins, playing at third base (43 games), second base (48 games) & in the outfield (15 games). In that years ALDS he hit .467 (7-15) with two RBIs. 

2004 ALDS: Cuddyer collected two hits with an RBI in both the Game #2 & Game #3 losses to NY.

The next year in 2005 he struggled at third base as the Twins replacement for Corey Koskie who moved on to Toronto. Cuddyer eventually became a reserve player & needed surgery to repair a torn meniscus. After he recovered, he switched to the outfield full time & became the teams cleanup hitter. 

In 2006 he had one of his biggest seasons up to that point, driving in a career high 109 runs (second on the club to Justin Morneau) with 41 doubles (9th in the AL) 24 HRs & a .284 average. His strong arm had him lead the league in assists in the outfield in 2006 (11) & in 2007 (19). 

2006 Post Season-ALDS: In the series loss to the Oakland A's Cuddyer tripled in the Game#1 loss at Minnesota. In Game #2 he homered off Esteban Loaiza collecting two hits in the 5-2 loss.

In 2007 he followed up batting .276 with 16 HRs & 81 RBIs as the Twins finished third in the AL Central. In 2008 he was limited to 71 games but still turned a league leading five double plays from the outfield.

In 2009 he hit a career high 32 HRs (10th in the AL) with 34 doubles, seven triples (also 10th in the AL) a .276 average & 94 RBIs, the second-best RBI mark of his career.

On May 22nd he hit for the cycle for the first time in his career. On August 23rd he hit two HRs in the same inning off the Royals, Kyle Farnsworth & Brian Bannister in a 10-3 win at Kansas City.

2009 Post Season-ALDS: He collected six hits batting .429 with an RBI in the ALDS loss to the AL New York team.

His next year he fell off to 14 HRs but still drove in 81 runs with 37 doubles, the 
second-best mark
of his career in that category. He rebounded a bit in 2011 hitting 20 HRs with 70 RBIs & a .284 average. That year he was the managers choice for the AL All Star team making his first Mid-Summer Classic appearance. 

On July 25th, in a 20-6 loss to the Texas Rangers, Cuddyer became the first Twins position player since John Moses did it in 1990. Cuddyer gave up a double, single & walk before getting the final out not allowing a run. In 2010 he made his last post season with the Twins, batting just .182 in another LDS loss.

Harmon Killebrew Relationship: He became close to Twins legendary Hall of Famer, Harmon Killebrew while in the Twins organization.

Cuddyer would even serve a pall bearer at Killebrew's funeral joining Rod Carew, Paul Molitor, Tony Oliva, Ron Gardenhire, Joe Nathan & Justin Morneau.

All Star: In 2011 he made his first All Star team. He went 0-1 in the 5-1 NL's win at Chase Field.

That year he batted ,284 with 20 HRs 29 doubles & 70 RBIs. He also made his pitching debut in a 20-6 loss to the Angels giving up a double to Mike Napoli.

In December of 2011, he cut his ties in Minnesota & moved over the National League signing with the Colorado Rockies. In Colorado he chose to wear the uniform number 3 in honor of his friend Harmon Killebrew.

Rockies Career: In his first season in Colorado, he was limited to 101 games due to injury. He hit .260 with 16 HRs 30 doubles 16 HRs & 58 RBIs.

In 2013, Cuddyer had a fantastic year, he won the AL batting title by ten points with a .331 average, his career best. 
That season he broke the Rockies club hitting streak record, once held by Dante Bichette at 25 games. 

Cuddyer hit 20 HRs with 31 doubles & 84 RBIs posting a .530 slugging % (4th in the NL). 

All Star Game at Citi Field: He made his second career All Star team, getting the start while batting eighth & playing in the DH role. He grounded out off Chris Sale in his only at bat in the 3-0 NL loss played at Citi Field.

In 2014 he was off to a good start hitting .316 with three HRs & four doubles, after 16 games but then suffered a strained hamstring. He was on the DL, returned in May but then went down with a fractured shoulder & missed two months of action. 

Hitting for the Cycle in Both Leagues: On August 17th, he became the 30th player in MLB history to hit for the cycle twice in his career. This came in the second game of a double header, against the Cincinnati Reds in a Rockies sweep.

 His first cycle had come back in 2009 in the AL with the Twins. Cuddyer is just the third player in MLB history to hit for the cycle in both leagues, joining Bob Watson & former New York Met- John Olerud.

He went onto the DL for a third time that season, finishing up playing in just 49 games. He hit .332 with 10 HRs 15 doubles & 31 RBIs.

Free Agent: In early November the New York Mets gave Cuddyer a two-year deal at age 35. The Mets needed offense, & an outfielder at that time. He was also expected to play right first base, behind Lucas Duda.

Quotes- Mets assistant GM John Ricco: - "I don't think it's any secret we are looking to improve offensively, and there are not a lot of options out there on the free agent market, or even on the trade market. We thought this was a way to clearly upgrade our team and our lineup."

Quotes- Sandy Alderson:
"Michael is a tremendous addition to the middle of our lineup. He is a proven offensive threat who also brings versatility in the field with the ability to play multiple positions."

Mets Career: As Michael Cuddyer's Mets career began in 2015, he was the teams Opening Day left fielder & clean up hitter. A week into the season on April 12th he helped Bartolo Colon win his second game of the season, hitting a two run HR as the Mets beat the Braves 4-3 in Atlanta. Cuddyer got himself to the .300 mark in late April, but the former batting champ fell off from there & never got that high again.

In late May he had a great series at home against the Phillies where he drove in five runs & hit two HRs while collecting five hits. 

Walk Off Hit: On June 11th in a game against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field. Cuddyer had a 5th inning RBI double off Tim Lincecum putting the Mets ahead 3-3. Then he came to bat in the bottom of the 9th inning of a 4-4 tie. He drove a walk off single against Sergio Romo to score Curtis Granderson with the winning run.

By early July his average fell off to the .235 mark. On July 10th he hit a HR off the Diamondbacks Chase Anderson in a 4-2 win at Citi Field. He hit another in a July 18th Mets 12-2 loss in St. Louis.

A nagging knee injury the kept him out of the line up from July 21st to August. 11th. By now the Mets had acquired Yoenis Cespedes & young Michael Conforto was playing well seeing more time in left field. From here on Cuddyer's playing time was more limited to a part time role & his clean up hitting days were certainly over.

On August 12th in his second game back he drove in a run in Jacob deGrom (Tyler Clippard/ Jeurys Familia) 3-0 shut out over the Rockies.

On August 24th he had another monster series against the Phillies, at Philadelphia. Cuddyer collected seven hits, with a pair of HRs & six RBIs in the Mets three game sweep at Citizens Bank Park, coming during a seven-game win streak. 

On August 25th in the second game of that series, his 6th inning two run single broke a 4-4 tie & led New York to a 6-5 win. The next day he hit his 10th HR of the year, a two-run shot in the 9-4 win.

In September he went 3-7 with two walks as a pinch hitter. 

Mets Clinch NL East: On September 26th, the Mets clinched the NL Eastern Division at Cincinnati in a 10-2 win. Cuddyer got the start in left field & contributed with a two run double in the 3rd inning, putting the Mets up 7-2. 

He would end the season batting .259 with 98 hits (379 at bats) 10 HRs 18 doubles 41 RBIs & a .309 on base %. It was his worst on base % of his career except his first season which he only played eight games.

2015 Post Season-NLDS:
Cuddyer would start Game #1 of the NLDS in Los Angeles, going 0-3, getting removed in the 7th inning. He made two pinch hit appearances in the next two games, drawing a walk in Game #3 & going 0-1 in Game #4.

2015 Post Season-NLCS: He got a start in the Mets 4-2 Game #1 win in the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. In the 6th inning he got his only post season hit a single off Jon Lester. In Game #4 he went hitless in a pinch hit at bat in the Mets 8-3 clincher in Chicago.

2015 Post Season-World Series:  In Cuddyer's seventh post season appearance, he reached his first World Series. In Game #1 against the Royals in Kansas City, he came into the game as a pinch hitter in the 7th inning & remained in the game thru the 14th inning loss going 0-3.
Overall, he went 1-11 playing in six 2015 Mets post season games.

After the season he had knee surgery in Philadelphia. On December 12th, 2015, Michael Cuddyer decided to retire from the game after a 15-year career. He still had one more season worth $12 million on his Mets contract.

Career Stats: In his 15-year career Cuddyer was a two time All-star with one batting title (2013) added to his highlights. He has played in 1536 games, hitting 197 HRs with 333 doubles 42 triples & 794 RBIs. 

He posted a .344 on base%, a .461 slugging % with 34 sac flies, 1101 strike outs, 527 walks & 75 stolen bases.

Post Season Stats: In seven post seasons he got to one World Series (2015 with the Mets) batting an overall .306 with 2 HRs 2 doubles 7 8 RBIs in 28 post season games.

He played 982 games in the outfield, 283 games at first base, 174 games at third base & 79 games at second.

Family: Cuddyer & his wife Claudia have one son & twin girls. 

A childhood virus has left him deaf in his left ear but he claims he never had a problem hearing while on the field.


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