Quick Hit: Can Everth Cabrera Develop Into A Must Use Shortstop?

We all know that Everth Cabrera has significant speed, the question is if he is going to get on base enough to utilize it. As the old adage goes, you can’t steal first base. That said, he showed in 2012 that it doesn’t take much for him to make an impact:

398 At Bats
.246 Batting Average (98 hits)
2 Home Runs
24 RBI
49 Runs
44 Stolen Bases
.324 On Base Percentage
.324 Slugging Percentage
.336 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Cabrera knows what he is, and you can see it in his approach at the plate. Last season he posted a 60.7% groundball rate, allowing him to use his speed. The BABIP is realistic for a player like him, and could even improve somewhat.

The problem is a 24.5% strikeout rate, something that has plagued him since he stepped onto a Major League diamond (22.4% over his career). However, we have to keep in mind that as a Rule 5 draft pick Cabrera virtually jumped from Single-A to the Majors back in 2009. While he has spent time at Triple-A since, you have to understand that there has been quite an adjustment period as he learned on the job.

Now 26-years old, the time has come for him to make the necessary adjustments and prove that he belongs. He did improve as the season progressed, with a 27.3% mark in the first half and a 22.7% mark in the second half. While that number still isn’t ideal, it’s not impossible that he continues to grow.

If he can put the ball in play more often, the potential for 60+ bases is there over a full season.

Granted, playing for the Padres he may not score many runs, but as a low-end middle infielder we can’t get everything. If he can hit .260 with 60 SB, is anyone going to care that he scores just 80 runs? That’s a realistic result, meaning if you find yourself in need of speed he is an ideal player to roll the dice on (assuming there is no fallout from his recent association in the PED “scandal” regarding Biogenesis).

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