Fangraphs.com took an in-depth look Thursday on Johnny Cueto’s 2009 campaign compared to his 2008 rookie season.
There are a lot of good statistics, including whiff rate by type of pitch, and analysis at the link. David Golebiewski makes the following conclusion:
Entering 2010, CuetoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s value is hard to gauge. Is he healthy? While his innings totals havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been abusive, Cueto has logged a significant workload in the majors at a young age. And, can he regain the bite on that once-plus slider, while honing his changeup? To this point, his fastball has been a slightly below-average offering (-0.3 runs per 100 pitches), with the slider also in the red at -0.09 runs/100. The neglected changeup checks in at an ugly -1.12.
Cueto is plenty talented and has time on his side. But in order to take the next step, he must show durability and develop those secondary offerings.
Cueto’s progress is going to be a key component to the Reds ability to win more than 50% of their games in the first part of this decade. I’m hoping the drop in his performance is attributed largely to his Winter Ball and WBC workload, and that he comes to camp this Spring, healthy and rested.