On Cabrera: “He’s filled in nicely for them, but on a good team he’s more of a fourth outfielder. I don’t think he’s a good center fielder, and I don’t think he’ll hit with enough power as a corner outfielder. If he’s an everyday player for the Yankees in three or four years, I’ll be stunned.”
This is in-line with what Johns Sickels said 5 months ago – that Cabrera isn’t “going to amount to much.”
Now, I would agree that Cabrera is not a center fielder. But, defensively, as a corner outfielder, well, in the last few weeks, he’s shown us that he’ll be just fine (if not great) there. Good range and a strong arm serve him well on the corners.
As far as Melky’s projected power, I think people need to look at his minor league stats. Yes, coming into this season, he projects to be the type of player who would be lucky to hit more than 15 homers in a full season in the majors. But, you have to remember, he was not yet 21-years-old when he posted those numbers prior to this year.
More recently, I like to look at his numbers at Columbus, in a regular-sized Triple-A park, this season, prior to being called up to the Yankees this season. In 122 At Bats, Melky had 6 doubles, 2 triples, and 4 homeruns. If you take that rate and apply it to a full season, it says Cabrera would have over 50 extra-base hits. That’s not exactly “4th outfielder” material.
Further, take a look at Paul O’Neill’s career. Most seasons, he barely hit 20 homeruns. In fact, in 7 of his 14 full seasons, O’Neill did not hit 20 homers. And, this was in the era of the Long Ball! Last time I checked, O’Neill played on some “good teams” and was not a 4th outfielder for them.
I have to revert to something that I wrote yesterday:
You know, superstars post the sexy numbers – but, play-makers win games. Melky Cabrera is a play-maker. I’m so glad that he’s on this team. So many play-makers from the recent ring-run are gone. And, it’s good to see more come along.
I’m going to contact Jim Callis today to share this opinion – with the hope that maybe it allows him to consider some things that he may have been over-looking. Wish me luck.