As Major League Baseball begins to tease which of the top prospects will be invited to play in this year’s Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League, former Colorado Rockies first baseman/outfielder Michael Cuddyer has been playing a major role in the promotion of PDP and what it will mean for the future of the game.
According to MLB in this release, the PDP League “is an invitation-based development and assessment program for the top 96 high school players eligible for the 2023 MLB Draft.”
Cuddyer played in 15 Major League Baseball seasons, including three as a member of the Colorado Rockies. Signed as a free agent by the Rockies on December 16, 2011, Cuddyer earned an All-Star Game appearance and Silver Slugger in 2013 as he paced the National League with a .331 batting average as part of a .331/.389/.530 slash line that season. He hit 20 home runs and drove in 84 runs while posting a 136 OPS+.
Now Michael Cuddyer, a member of the Colorado Rockies for three seasons, is focusing on impacting baseball’s next generation as the hitting coordinator for the PDP League.
Cuddyer, wearing a USA Baseball hat, spoke to MLB Network about some of the players who will be coming to the PDP and those he will be mentoring in his second season as the PDP League’s hitting coordinator. He has a rich history with USA Baseball, serving as an assistant coach for the 18U National Team in 2021 and playing on the 18U National Teams in both 1996 and 1997.
In 1997, Cuddyer was tabbed as the Virginia Player of the Year, Gatorade National Player of the Year, and a USA Today All-Star. He was selected ninth overall by the Minnesota Twins in that year’s draft.
According to MLB, the PDP League has also been used as “the primary identification opportunity” for the USA Baseball 18U National Team. That squad is scheduled to be a part of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup 2021 in Bradenton and Sarasota, Fla., in September.