Cunningham has raised his average by at least 19 points in each season. From his sophomore to junior year, he raised it from .306 to .347. To say he’s improved over the years, is an understatement.
However, a lot of that jump from his sophomore to junior season can be contributed to the fact he made 52 starts at designated hitter. It’s a lot easier to produce quality numbers when your only job is to produce offense. Another thing to keep in mind is the competition Baylor played against. When you see a .307 average against Big 12 opponents, that’s quite impressive. When you look at the .347 overall average, it kind of kills the buzz of that .307. The Bears played five games against SWAC opponents, outscoring the conference 80-14 in those games. These games certainly inflated some averages.
Cunningham’s numbers aren’t all inflated just because of a few SWAC games though. Six of his nine home runs last season came against Big 12 competition. He’s a quality hitter with plenty of power. The left-hander also hit two of those home runs in one game in one of the toughest crowds in America: UFCU Disch-Faulk Field on the campus of The University of Texas in Austin. His first in that game was a major reason current Nolan Kingham, who is currently in the Atlanta Braves organization, lasted just two innings.
Baylor has advanced to the NCAA Regionals in each of the past two seasons. The Bears won the 2018 Big 12 Tournament Championship. Richard Cunningham is going to be the senior leader of this offense. Look for Cunningham to have his best season yet, and lead Baylor into one of the best seasons in program history.
For the rest of our Top 25:
**Sign up here for our HCS weekly e-mails for a chance to win FREE Heartland College Sports and Big 12 team gear!!**