Updated: Dec 16, 2018
Prospect #10: LHP Genesis Cabrera
Acquired from Tampa Bay as part of the Tommy Pham trade
WHY TO GET EXCITED
First, Joe Schwarz wrote an article about Cabrera over at The Athletic and it's definitely worth subscribing to The Athletic to read. It says what I'm about to say, but, you know, better in every way.
Cabrera has better fastball command than the scouts and outlets will tell you. He commands that pitch. It's usually dialed in at the low to mid 90's, but you can just tell that Cabrera has more to give with it.
Cabrera has a very repeatable delivery. When watching the bunk minor league feed, it really seems like all of his pitches come out of the same arm slot and that his mechanics are smooth and similar with every pitch.
All three of his offspeed pitches have good break and movement when he is dealing. The change up is the weak link, but it can be very good at times. Again, there are inconsistency issues with his slider/cutter and his curve, but all of the pitches can be filth. The slider/cutter in particular.
He's young and advanced at 21-years-old and at AA. He's doing more than just holding his own there, as well. With a batting average against of .218 and 124 strikeouts in 113.2 innings entering his August 5th start, those stats illustrate the potential for dominance from Cabrera.
All things considered this really doesn't matter, but Cabrera provides immediate and high-end depth in the organization. He enters the organization as the best lefty on the farm.
Again, read Joe's article because it's GREAT.
WHY TO BE CAUTIOUS
There are some that view this 21-year-old that is already at AA as a bullpen arm. I couldn't agree less but, hey, they're allowed to think that! They're wrong, but they're allowed to think that!
He needs to develop better command of his offspeed offerings. The Rays have had him working tirelessly to command his change up. It's gotten better, but it's still a work in progress.
Speaking of command, Cabrera's walk rate on the season is atrocious. He's walking 4.51 per nine innings, good for 12% of all batters that he faces. He's gotta iron out this issue and he should probably do it quickly.
Cabrera allows of hits in the air. It'd be nice to see his ground ball allowed rate get into the mid 40% instead of the mid 30's where it is now. His home runs allowed has spiked, as well. He's allowed 11 home runs over those 113.2 innings. That's not unacceptable, but he's gotta do a better job of keeping the ball in the park.
As Joe notes in The Athletic article, there may be some type of maturing that needs to occur for Cabrera to reach his ceiling.
There are some that call his motion "high-effort." Again, I don't really see that, but I do think he'd do well to slow his lower half down a little bit during the wind-up.
I think that he'd do well to add weight. You'll notice that he has very little in the way of a waist and lower half. I'd very much like for him to add a little lower-half-heft.
What I keep telling everyone is that Cabrera is Marco Gonzales but with a more advanced arsenal of pitches. He's not as advanced as Marco was at the AA stage of Marco's career, and he doesn't command the ball as well as Marco does, but he's more gifted than Marco was/probably is. It'll all come down to interest and command for Cabrera. If he develops a better feel for his three offspeed offerings then he's going to be some combo of Jaime Garcia and Marco Gonzales.
Thanks to Fangraphs for supplying the statistics.
Thanks For Reading!!