Cheslor Jesly Cuthbert
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 194 lb.
Cheslor Cuthbert made his major league debut in 2015.
Cuthbert was signed by scouts Orlando Estevez and Juan Lopez for the Kansas City Royals in 2009; his $1.35 million bonus was a record for an amateur from Nicaragua. Cheslor made his pro debut in 2010, splitting time between the AZL Royals (.265/.342/.412 in 18 G) and Idaho Falls Chukars (.233/.281/.433 in 14 G) while fielding .891 overall at third base. Baseball America rated him as the #7 prospect in the Arizona League, between Donavan Tate and Luis Sardinas.
In a full-season league at age 18, Cheslor batted .267/.345/.397 for the 2011 Kane County Cougars. Baseball America listed him as the 11th-best Midwest League prospect, between Keyvius Sampson and Kolten Wong. They also listed him as the 84th-best prospect in baseball entering 2012, between Garrett Richards and Mason Williams. In '12, he hit .240/.296/.322 and fielded .925 for the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Baseball America downgraded his prospect status, putting him 20th in the Carolina League.
In the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, the 20-year-old started at third for the Nicaraguan national team. He was their top offensive performer, going 4 for 8 with a double and a homer, the long ball coming off Sugar Ray Marimon; it was not enough to keep his team from being eliminated after going 0-2. He split the next summer between Wilmington (.280/.354/.418 in 60 G) and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (.215/.279/.359), hitting 37 doubles between the two stops. He led Royals farmhands in doubles, 7 ahead of Lane Adams and Hunter Dozier. He hit .182/.240/.295 for the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League. He continued his climb in '14, starting with the Naturals (.276/.342/.420 in 96 G) and moving up to the Omaha Storm Chasers (.264/.330/.385 in 25 G). He produced at a .277/.339/.421 clip for Omaha in 2015.
Cuthbert was first called up to the majors by the Royals in July of 2015 and played 19 games, hitting .217/.280/.370 with 1 homer and 8 RBIs as the Royals won the World Series. He struck out against Matt Moore in his first MLB at-bat but singled off Moore the next time up. His homer came off Guido Knudson, a two-run shot. Cuthbert was not on the postseason roster, as Raul Mondesi, who had no previous major league experience, was preferred to him when the Royals added an extra infielder for the Series. He got an opportunity to play regularly in 2016, however, after starting 3B Mike Moustakas went down with a season-ending injury in May. On June 11th, he had the first multiple-homer game of his career when he connected twice off Jose Quintana in a 4-1 win over the Chicago White Sox. He hit .333/.402/.624 with 28 RBI and 7 homers in 24 games for Omaha that year and .274/.318/.413 in 110 games for Kansas City, posting a 95 OPS+, smacking 28 doubles and fielding .948 at the hot corner. He tied Travis Shaw for third in errors by a third baseman in the American League. At age 23, it was a good start to becoming a MLB regular.
He slumped big-time with the Royals in 2017 (.231/.275/.322, 58 OPS+ in 58 G) but still hit well in Omaha (.271/.353/.559 in 15 G). He represented Nicaragua in the 2017 Central American Games, one of only two major league-experienced players on their roster as they won Gold. He hit a grand slam off Jose Matute of the Honduran national team and finished the round-robin phase at .313/.476/.500 with 10 RBI in five games. He had the most RBI, one ahead of Gerald Chin and tied for the most homers (1), but did not finish among the top 3 in any other department despite being the lone MLB-experienced position player in the event. He hit cleanup in the Gold Medal Game and went 1 for 3 with an insurance RBI in a 3-1 win over Panama. In 2018, he played just 30 games in the majors, hitting .194 with 3 homers and 7 RBIs. A lower back strain cost him large chunks of the season, and ended it definitely at the end of July. Then, on January 4, 2019, he was designated for assignment as the Royals needed his roster spot for P Kyle Zimmer.