(Photo: Dylan Buell / Getty Images)

Throws: RHP

DOB: 9/22/93
H/W: 6-3, 245 lbs

Acquired: Signed as minor league free agent (5/11)
Current Salary: $535,000 (est.)
Team Control: 6 seasons MLB (through 2022) / 1 option remaining

Combined WAR:
2016: 0.5
Career Total: 0.5

The Outfield Fly Ruling

Cabrera isn’t a great reliever, and he doesn’t strike you as a notable personality in baseball. And yet, he’s a reason people might buy tickets to SunTrust Park in 2017. Why would people go to the ballpark hoping to see a mediocre reliever? There’s a chance, with Cabrera in the game, you could witness baseball history, specifically history in the form of the fastest measured pitch. Cabrera has hit 103 on the gun several times, and as he enters his mid-twenties, perhaps he could touch 104 or even 105. It’s easy to get lost in the details of Cabrera’s strengths (he keeps the ball on the ground) and weaknesses (wildness), but the Braves have themselves a fun pitcher who makes the game more fun for fans, one radar reading at a time. (-B. Blackwell, ’16-’17 offseason)

OFR Articles About Cabrera

The OFR Scouting Report

Pitch Arsenal:

  1. Fourseam Fastball: 100 mph / heavy usage / groundball pitch / strikeout pitch
  2. Sinker: 100 mph / heavy usage / groundball pitch / strikeout pitch
  3. 12-6 Slider: 84.2 mph / moderate usage
  4. Changeup: 90.9 mph / moderate usage
  5. 12-6 Curveball: 83.1 mph

Stamina – 20

Walk Avoidance – 35 

Forgive the man who occasionally hits 104 mph for missing his spots. Seriously, forgive him, because the next heater might be aimed at you. (Don’t worry, he only hits what he aims at like 60% of the time)

Strikeouts – 45 ↑↑↑↑↑↑

Only 45? Cabrera should be a high strikeout pitcher. He regularly throws 100 with two different fastballs, and he certainly has the raw potential to grow into an elite strikeout reliever. However, he’s never really been an elite strikeout artist. On a per 9 innings basis, he averaged 7.5 in the majors last year, 9.4 in AA (2016), 8.1 in A+ (2015). It’s kind of underwhelming, considering his raw tools. So while all those arrows may make you think big things are to come, strikeouts usually don’t take years to develop, especially several years after moving to the bullpen. Without a killer pitch beyond his fastballs, it’s hard to see him ever being a next-level K artist.

Groundballs – 60

Cabrera’s fourseam fastball and sinker both induce groundballs at a healthy rate, and he throws those pitches three quarters of the time. That’s why Cabrera should continue to be a pretty decent reliever, even if his K totals maddeningly don’t match up with his radar gun readings. If you can keep the ball on the ground regularly, you’re useful.

20-80 scale, where 20 will prevent you from reaching the bigs, 30 is terrible, 40 is below average, 50 is MLB average, 60 is plus, 70 is plus-plus, and 80 is HOF-level. The OFR Scouting Report is based mostly on statistical forecasting models such as ZiPs, PECOTA, etc. Arrows indicate projected room for growth or decline, with each representing a 5 point movement on the 20-80 scale.

Visuals

Player Pages

Baseball Reference

Fangraphs

Baseball Prospectus

The Baseball Cube

MLB Trade Rumors

Brooks Baseball

Texas Leaguers

Walk Off Walk

Baseball Savant

[sc name="HeaderGoogleAnlytics"]