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Saturday, February 22, 2014

2014 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: EVERTH CABRERA SS SAN DIEGO PADRES

When it comes to filling your middle infield positions every season in fantasy baseball, it is always a good idea to use the second base and shortstops spots to get a good chunk of your team stolen bases.  Since power is usually in very short supply among these groups, especially at shortstop, getting a big boost from steals here is crucial.  One guy who does the stolen base bit as good as anyone in all of fantasy baseball of course is San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera who comes off both an eye-opening and than disappointing 2013 campaign.  Eye-opening in that Cabrera was on his way toward leading baseball in steals by perhaps a wide margin after he swiped 37 bags in only 381 at-bats.  Cabrera also showed nice improvement in his batting average by hitting .283 from the previous year's .244.  However Cabrera couldn't dodge being caught up in the Biogenesis probe and thus was slapped with a season-ending 50 game suspension that adds some clouds to his overall outlook going forward in his career.

In breaking down the 27-year-old Cabrera, the most obvious pluses in his game are the runs and steals.  In fact just like prior to 2013, Cabrera stands a great chance of leading the game in steals this season if he stays healthy.  Cabrera is as aggressive as any baserunner and even in 2012 he stole 44 bases in only 298 at-bats.  Thus if Cabrera somehow can get himself 550 at-bats, we could be looking at 70 steals which is incredibly valuable.  Also hitting atop the Padres lineup, Cabrera will score around 80 runs which is also a solid number.

Unfortunately Cabrera is pretty much a pure speed specialist as he will give you next to nothing in RBI and home runs.  Sure the 4 home runs Cabrera  hit last season are better than nothing but being off the steroids could stunt that already tiny number.  Lastly we get to the batting average which Cabrera made some improvements on last season by hitting .283 from the previous season's ugly .246.  The problem with Cabrera is that he strikes out way too much for a leadoff guy and up until last season his OBP was mediocre as well.  The .283 is clearly an outlier number since Cabrera has not hit anywhere near that number his previous three seasons where he got more than 200 at-bats.  The smart move is to project Cabrera around the .260 mark and anything more is a nice surprise.

When putting it all together, what you have here is a guy in Cabrera who is pretty mush a speed specialist who will excel in two categories and not offer much of anything else.  At shortsop we can get by with a specialist like Cabrera so don't automatically throw him out.  The speed is significant here.  We could be looking at the leading basestealer in the game this season which is a very good investment for you to take into account. 

2014 PROJECTION:  .265 3 HR 45 RBI 82 R 62 SB


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