PP 2004 Scouting Report: OF, Melky Cabrera

The New York Yankees assigned Melky Cabrera to the Staten Island Yankees in 2003 after he played for the Yankees Dominican Republic Summer League Team in 2002. The then 18 year old Cabrera immediately showed his talent in the Dominican League and was quickly assigned to the Yankees affiliate. This is where he showed his raw ability and his overall scrappy style to the Yankee scouts. <i>(Free Preview Of Premium Content)</i>

Vital Statistics:  
Name:
Melky Cabrera
Position: Centerfield
DOB: August 11, 1984
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 168
Bats: Switch
Throws: Left
How Acquired: Melky Cabrera was assigned to the Staten Island Yankee minor league affiliate for the 2003.

In his previous season he played for the New York Yankees Dominican Republic Summer League team and was immediately very impressive at the age of only age of 18 years of age. He flashed his tremendous centerfield abilities and his hard nosed style of play. His cannon like arm only added to his impressive summer audition. Consistently, he ran down balls in center and continued to hit.

Cabrera picked up right where he left off in his first campaign as a Staten Island Yankee where he was the overwhelming pick by many scouts as the teams best offensive player until a man named Eric Duncan came around in August. Throughout the season, he became a steady force in the lineup along with sparkling defense in centerfield. His entire season was signified in a stretch of 16 games in July. During this stretch Cabrera hit .420 with 4 doubles, a triple, 8 RBI, and 4 stolen bases. Cabrera's lack of power during this stretch and throughout the entire season as well is for the most part a non factor when you consider the rest of his natural baseball tools and on different occasions has been described by people close to the team as "toolsy".

Being his first complete season as a Yankee farmhand, 2003 could hardly be a gage of what is to come in the career of Melky Cabrera. He has displayed four of the five tools along with the intangibles of playing the game the way it was meant to be played. Cabrera's arm has become a threat to any base runner and his vast range in centerfield may only be second to fellow top prospect Kevin Thompson. An improving eye at the plate and his natural ability to hit for contact has allowed to become an outstanding leadoff hitter. With a stolen base total of only 13, that total is expected to only increase as well. He is highly touted as a future leadoff hitting star in the big leagues if he continues to progress on his current path.

 

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2003

Staten Island

.283

279

10

2

31

34

13

23

36

.345

.355

 

Batting and Power: At the age of 19 and at a low affiliate in Staten Island, Cabrera has shown very strong signs of being a very consistent leadoff hitter. Despite his lack of power the switch hitting Cabrera has been touted by some scouts and writers near the team as Staten Island's team MVP. It is still very possible that his somewhat anemic power numbers could increase to respectability with age and experience to transform a very solid leadoff hitter into an outstanding leadoff threat. He likes to spray the ball to all fields and can hit the ball to all fields with force at any time However, his walk totals are slightly low for an ideal leadoff hitter along with his OBP but many scouts say that they should both be on the rise. His low strikeout total also adds to Cabrera's already very high ceiling. In only his first year, scouts seem very impressed with Cabrera's immediate impact and assume that his offensive abilities will only improve with time.

Base Running and Speed: Cabrera has tremendous speed and uses it to his advantage in the leadoff spot. Many scouts believe that despite his fairly low stolen base total of 13 in his 2003 campaign, he will eventually be a consistent 20-30 stolen base candidate as he continues to improve on his now average base running skills.

Defense: As a benefit of his great speed, Cabrera is a tremendous defensive outfielder. The only player in the farm system that tops his defense is the Trenton Thunder's Kevin Thompson. He has a spectacular throwing arm that kept runners at bay during the 2003 season. Overall, his defense is well known by scouts as the strongest point of his game.

Projection: At this point in his career it seems to early to tell what is to come in the career of Melky Cabrera. However, if the ceiling of his ability that is being predicted by scouts is reached, he could be a star outfielder in the major leagues.

ETA: 2006.  Right now it is very hard to tell. He could possibly make his debut in 2005 when the rosters expand in September. This is only if all goes well and he has no setbacks which is very rare in a young career. As of right now, he is nothing more than a reserve outfielder but if he continues to develop correctly he could very well be a big league star.

Notes: In the 2004 season Cabrera may start out in Staten Island but it seems more likely that he will be promoted to Battle Creek.

Outfielders

2003 Team

Mike Vento

AAA - Columbus Clippers

Bubba Crosby

AAA - Columbus Clippers

Mitch Jones

AA - Trenton Thunder

Kevin Reese

AA - Trenton Thunder

Kevin Thompson AA - Trenton Thunder
Tommy Winrow A - Tampa Yankees
Andy Brown A - Tampa Yankees
Bronson Sardinha A - Battle Creek Yankees
Rudy Guillen A - Battle Creek Yankees
Matt Carson A - Battle Creek Yankees
Erold Andrus A - Battle Creek Yankees
Melky Cabrera A - Staten Island Yankees
Edwar Gonzalez A - Staten Island Yankees
Estee Harris R - GCL Yankees
Edwin Cabrera R - GCL Yankees
 

COMMENTS


As it is currently constituted, the New York Yankees outfield is as weak as it has been in recent years. Power has become a huge problem outside Sardinha and Guillen. There are, though, a decent amount of quality defensive players that the organization loves.

1. Bronson Sardinha - Moved from shortstop to left field where he continues to improve and has a good arm. Above-average runner who sprays the ball and projects to a 20-25 HR player.

2. Rudy Guillen - Collected forty-four extra-base hits (29 doubles, 4 triples, 13 homers) in 2003 while driving in 79. Excellent potential, is still young, and has the ability to hit for high average.

3. Kevin Thompson - Great defensive player who adds tons of speed (caught just 8 times in 55 attempts with the Thunder in 03‘). Doesn't strike out and is extremely patient.

4. Kevin Reese - Line drive hitter who can steal. Struggled with Columbus and was sent down to Trenton where he had a .272 average, .328 OBP, 27 steals in 32 attempts, and 13 doubles in 309 ABs. Lacks power.

5. Matt Carson - One of the top defensive players in the organization, but strikes out way too much (100 times in 432 ABs last year).

6. Mitch Jones - Hit or miss: 131 SO and 23 HR in 463 AB.

7. Jason Grove - Left-handed hitter doesn't have great power, but can hit for average.

8. Erold Andrus - Switch-hitter needs to improve judgment of the strike zone.

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