Prospect Countdown #37 : Todd Cunningham

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #37 : Outfielder, Todd Cunningham (photo : Zimbio)

Todd Cunningham, Outfielder

HT : 6'0
WT : 205
DOB : March 20, 1989 (26), Jacksonsville, Alabama
Throws : Right
Bats : Switch
School : Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, AL)
Acquired : Claimed off Waivers from Atlanta Braves, October 9, 2015
Last Year's Ranking : Unranked

It has been well documented that the Los Angeles Angels have been looking for an every day outfielder. As they search for one, they have widened their search from veterans, to young reclamation projects. Todd Cunningham is one of their hopeful projects. He has the tools to be a contributor for the Angels, but the question remains is whether or not he will outcompete his teammates for a spot on the big-league club.


Cunningham is best known for his consistency and being a work horse to gain a full tool box to achieve his full potential. The biggest question mark comes from Cunningham is his bat, despite never having trouble making contact from either side of the plate. There are very few holes in his swing, which allows him to put the ball in play consistently.

On the left side, Cunningham has a slight open stance with a bend in his knees and uses his bat as his timing mechanism. He starts his swing by having a slight hitch and gathers his power from his hips. He loads his front leg to step forward and inward as he follows through with his swing. From the right-side, everything is quite similar. Only difference is that his swing gets a little choppy, as opposed to staying level throughout.

Cunningham uses his speed as his best asset, beginning with an explosion out of the batter's box. On the base paths, he uses the same explosive first step to his advantage and is a constant threat to steal a base. His jump fits the Major League level, and he should be able to stay a threat even at the highest level, seeing double digit steals. He will need to work on reading pitchers and choosing whether to take an extra base or not.

Defensively, Cunningham is tremendous. Along with a very accurate throwing arm, he has great range and closing speed. He rarely commits any errors which helps him cover all three outfield positions. He's very athletic, and uses this in the field as well, allowing him to lay out and make up ground in his final strides to the ball.

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After a prep career that saw First-Team All-State honors in each of his final three years (Second-Team All-State freshman year), Cunningham opted for Jacksonville State University. He went on to win numerous awards and achievements as JSU, playing every game during his collegiate career and batting .339 with 30 doubles, 12 triples, 11 home runs, 77 RBI, 64 walks and 55 strikeouts. Cunningham stole 15 bases in 18 attempts, and saw a career-high hitting streak of 18, which was the second longest streak during the 2009 season in the OVC.

In his first taste of pro ball, Cunningham saw time in 65 games, excelling in most, finishing the season with a .260/.341/.338 slash, along with 13 extra-base hits and 32 runs scored. Over a 40-game stretch in the middle of the season, Cunningham hit .295 with a .780 OPS.

In his sophomore pro season, Cunningham launched into High-A, hitting .257/.348/.353 with 12 doubles, 59 runs scored and 20 RBI, matching the season prior. He saw a season best stretch during May and early June where he hit .324/.423/.424 with 30 runs scored in 37 games.

Cunningham broke out in 2012, while in Double-A, hitting .309/.364/.403 with 23 doubles and six triples. He finished third in the league with 77 runs scored, fourth with 144 hits and his .309 batting average was eighth best in the Southern League. Through the middle course of the season, Cunningham saw a .334/.378/.452 slash over 84 games, scoring 57 times when reaching 124 times.

2013 was Cunningham's best season to date, where he hit .265/.342/.333 before seeing Major League time. In his 56 games prior to an eight-game callup to the Majors, Cunningham hit .316 with a .768 OPS. In his eight games with the Braves, Cunningham went 2-for-8 with both his hits coming as doubles. He also saw 20 stolen bases over the season, falling four shy of his mark the season prior.

Despite a crowded outfield at the MLB level, Cunningham kept his name on the scene in 2014 in Triple-A, finishing the year with a .287/.347/.406 slash with 28 doubles, eight home runs, 59 runs scored and 58 RBI. Cunningham finished the season strong, reaching base in 43 of his final 52 games and hitting .313 with an .871 OPS over the final stretch.

Last season, Cunningham earned a pair of call ups to the Major League club, but not before posting a .261/.325/.337 slash in Triple-A. In his two call ups to the Braves, Cunningham hit .221/.280/.267 with four doubles and four RBI. Cunningham ended the season going just 8-for-81 (.141), but began his call up with a bang, going 9-for-15 (.600) in his first four games.

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It remains to be seen what role Cunningham will play with the Angels. He will be given a chance to compete for the questionable left field role in Spring Training, along with many others, including seasoned veterans. If he does not win the spot, he will most likely become one of the starting outfielders with Salt Lake, if not claimed off waivers.

If he succeeds and earns the spot in the big leagues, he will possibly be given a chance to bat leadoff or early in the lineup. Cunningham fits best as a fourth outfielder, and will need to win the left field job out of Spring Training to remain with the big club at the beginning of the 2016 season.

For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.

This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.

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