The Angels have claimed outfielder Todd Cunningham off waivers from the Braves, Mark Bowman of MLB.com tweets. The move represents the first acquisition of the tenure of new GM Billy Eppler.
Cunningham is a 26-year-old switch-hitter who saw his first real taste of big league action this past season. Over 93 plate appearances, the former second-round pick slashed just .221/.280/.267. As poorly as he fared with the bat in that short sample, though, Cunningham impressed advanced defensive metrics. Playing mostly in left field, UZR rated him at +18.4 runs-per-150 innings and he racked up six Defensive Runs Saved.
Cunningham was Atlanta’s 23rd-rated prospect coming into the year in the estimation of Baseball America. He has spent most of his time in center field during his minor league career, but BA said — and the metrics suggest — that Cunningham is a plus defender in left. Offensively, he is known as a contact hitter with good speed. But Cunningham hit just .261/.325/.337 in 375 Triple-A plate appearances last year.
It’s possible that the out-of-options Cunningham could find himself back on the waiver wire soon, as MLB.com’s Aldez Gonzalez tweets that the Angels will try to “slip him [through] waivers.”
i hope this is not a sign of things to come with the new GM
Are you not thrilled at the thought of an outfield version of Featherston?
Cunningham is a nice 3rd or 4th OF. Can play all 3 spots and has good speed. Although not much power.