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Saturday, March 5, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: ASDRUBAL CABRERA SS NEW YORK METS

On and on we go with our continued player profiles as we get closer to the 2016 fantasy baseball season.  Today we delve back into the shallow shortstop position in order to look more closely at the New York Mets' Asdrubal Cabrera who at one time was looked at as a major potential star but who lately has settled into a reliable but "boring" veteran.  Let's take a closer look at what Cabrera can do in terms of the upcoming fantasy baseball season.

First some history here.  As we already mentioned, Asdrubal Cabera was originally a free agent signee by the Seattle Mariners out of Venezuela who was moved to the Cleveland Indians in the Cliff Lee deal.  Hyped as a future star due to his ability to hit, hit for power, and run, Cabrera was fast-tracked to Cleveland starting with the 2007 season.  After some stops and starts, Cabrera cemented his status as a starter at shortstop for the Indians in 2009 when he hit .308 with 6 home runs and 17 stolen bases.  While not anywhere near monster numbers, Cabrera was showing all the tools that made him such a hot commodity in the first place.  However things would really explode two years later when Cabrera had the type of breakout season that instantly transforms a hitter to solid pro up to superstar levels.  Of course we are talking about Cabrera's 2011 campaign when he put up the following numbers that thrust him into as high as second round fantasy baseball territory for 2012:

.273
25 HR
92 RBI
87 R
17 SB

When those numbers come from a shortstop, the excitement meter almost blows up given how the position annually lacks more than 5-7 guys who can swing the bat at a high level.  Of course since Cabrera never hinted at such power like that before, there were outlier concerns and those were born out in 2013 when he dropped off to a still very good 16 home runs but with just 9 steals and a shaky .270 average.  He would virtually repeat those numbers in 2014 when Cabrera hit a horrendous .241 with just another 14 home runs and 10 steals.  Just like that within the span of three seasons, Cabrera had run the gamut from being called a star to being widely discarded and ignored by the entire fantasy baseball community. 

As we look ahead to the 2016 fantasy baseball season, Asdrubal Cabrera is still being widely ignored and is firmly entrenched in the "boring veteran" tier despite the fact he is still quite young at the age of 30.  Falling into the boring veteran tier happens when a hitter explodes with a monster season but then immediately shows that campaign to be an outlier with a string of mediocre years to follow.  Such is what Cabrera has done the last three seasons since his big 2012.  Still you had to look at the big picture with Cabrera in terms of him still offering some decent numbers for fantasy baseball, especially with shortstop remaining as shallow as ever with Hanley Ramirez losing eligibility, Troy Tulowitzki starting to look old, Jose Reyes looking old AND facing legal trouble, and Jimmy Rollins now on a minor-league deal as he attempts to hold on for one more season.  Cabrera has become quite dependable in terms of his numbers as he batted .265 with 15 home runs and 6 steals in 2015 which pretty much mirror his 2013-14 campaigns.  Getting 15-17 home runs from your starting shortstop is a very good number and a few steals thrown in don't hurt.  The counting numbers in runs and RBI figure to be in the 65-75 range on a Mets team with some thump in the lineup as well.  The average has always been a bit on the ugly side as Cabrera pretty much can be guaranteed to fall in the .260-ish range but you can live with that since he has solid numbers in the rest of the standard categories. 

The bottom line here is that Asdrubal Cabrera is a good late round grab if you choose to ignore shortstop early on during the proceedings.  It costs a fortune to get a Carlos Correa or even a Francisco Lindor and so Cabrera could be a terrific very late snag since no one will be after him and yet he still can help you some this season. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .263 15 HR 63 RBI 73 R 5 SB 


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