The file on Johnny Cueto
Johnny Cueto signed with the Cincinnati Reds as an amateur free agent out of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, on March 16, 2004. He signed with the Reds a month after his 18th birthday.
Welcome to the big leagues
Right from the start, it was clear Cueto could be a special pitcher. His first full season in the minors, 2006, he went 15-3 with a 3.00 ERA. Two years later, Cueto was in the majors, less than two months after his 22nd birthday. All he did was strike out 10 batters and only give up one hit and one run with no walks in a 3-2 victory over the Diamondbacks on April 3, 2008. Cueto finished his rookie year with a 9-14 record to go with his 4.81 ERA.
In 2012, Cueto showed the baseball world just how good he could be. Cueto went 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA over 217 innings pitched. His numbers earned him a fourth-place finish in National League Cy Young voting. At the time, 2012 saw Cueto have career-bests in wins, ERA, games started, innings pitched and strikeouts.
Cueto the All-Star
If 2012 was a breakout year for Cueto, then 2014 was an exclamation point as a total year for Cueto. Though his 2012 was huge, he was still yet to be an All-Star. All that changed in 2014, and for good reason. Cueto went 20-9 with a 2.25 ERA and struck out 242 batters in 243.2 innings pitched. He led the league in games started (34) along with his innings pitched and strikeouts.
After seven-and-a-half years with the Reds, Cueto was shipped out of the NL and over to the American League. On July 26, 2015, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals for a package of three prospects. When he was traded, Cueto was 7-6 with a 2.62 ERA, but then went 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA in the regular season with the Royals.
World Series domination
While on the biggest stage of his career, Cueto proved how clutch he can be. In his first ever start in the World Series, Cueto took the ball in Game 2 vs. the Mets. And, he came through. Cueto threw a complete-game two-hitter, giving up only one run in a 7-1 Royals victory.
Three games after dominating the Mets, Cueto became a World Series champion. Though he only needed to make one start in the World Series, Cueto was a big part to the Royals winning their first World Series in 30 years, taking down the Mets in five games. After the postseason, he became a free agent for the first time, at 29 years old.
Coming into the offseason, Cueto was one of the biggest free agents before the 2016 season. The Giants already made one splash with a new arm in Jeff Samardzija and then decided to up the ante on Dec. 16, 2015, signing Cueto to a six-year, $130 million contract. Through eight years in the majors, Cueto is 96-70 with a 3.30 ERA and has 1,171 strikeouts in 1,420.1 innings pitched.
Cueto wins No. 100
In his fifth start as a Giant, Johnny Cueto pitched a seven-hit shutout of the Padres while striking out 11. The victory was the 100th of his career. He became the 12th Dominican-born pitcher to win 100 games.