Melky Cabrera continues to impress with his performance in the Dominican Republic this winter, showing the Yankees that he has a bright future.
Cabrera, a 21-year-old Dominican, is playing for Las Aguilas Cibaeñas this winter. Cabrera is hitting .298 (25-for-84) with six doubles, one triple, 11 RBIs, five stolen bases and an impressive .375 on-base percentage through the first 31 games of the season.
Cabrera has walked 11 times and struck out nine times, a great improvement from his 37 walks and 87 strikeouts in 132 games with Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Columbus in 2005.
Two pitchers from the Yankees’ system also are honing their skills in the Dominican: Jorge De Paula and Elvys Quezada.
De Paula is pitching for Escogido, posting a 3.12 ERA in five games. In 17 1/3 innings, De Paula has held opponents to a .246 average, striking out 11 while walking five. The right-hander came back last year from Tommy John surgery to pitch 25 games in the Minors and three with the Yankees.
De Paula was 4-2 with a 4.58 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) with Columbus. He struck out 90 batters in 116 innings. In his three relief appearances with the Yankees, De Paula posted an 8.10 ERA in 6 2/3 innings.
Quezada has appeared in four games for Las Aguilas, posting a 2.84 ERA in 6 1/3 innings. Quezada has allowed nine hits and two walks, striking out five.
In 19 games (four starts) with Class A Tampa, Quezada went 4-1 with one save and a 5.94 ERA. Quezada also pitched 16 games (one start) for Class A Charleston, going 1-1 with a 1.95 ERA. In 79 1/3 innings for the two teams, Quezada struck out 87 batters.
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