Amidst a rough stretch, the Yankees promoted Oswaldo Cabrera, their No. 14 prospect per MLB’s prospect rankings, in hopes to jumpstart a potent offense that was (and is) struggling mightily. Despite boasting a smaller, Jose Altuve-esque frame, Cabrera made hard contact throughout the minors, and graded out around average or slightly above in his hit and power tools. Prior to getting promoted, one of the team’s top prospects was slashing .262/.340/.492 with eight home runs and 10 stolen bases in 47 games at the team’s Triple-A affiliate. Since coming up to the show, Cabrera has struggled mightily, hitting just .160 with a 33.3 percent strikeout rate. His versatility has been on display for the Yankees, but should fantasy baseball managers that picked him up off waivers stick with Cabrera moving forward?



There’s no denying that it’s been a rough start for the 23-year-old. However, should we have tempered expectations? Yes, he’s a top prospect within the Yankees’ system, but prior to his call up, he only played 56 games at Triple-A, and 109 games at Double-A. He has plenty of talent, but he’s still maturing and developing as a baseball player. Like most young players, strikeouts have been prevalent early on for Cabrera, and at a far higher rate than what he displayed in the minors. At the Double-A and Triple-A levels, his strikeout rate hovered in the mid-20s, but it’s up to 33.3 percent through seven games at the game’s highest level. First and foremost, he needs to not press at the plate, and showcase better plate discipline. I know, easier said than done for a young prospect in New York.


O-Swing Rate







League Average




Courtesy of FanGraphs

Secondary stuff in the bigs is superior to what one will see in the minor league, and he tends to leave the strike zone for non-fastballs. With time, I expect that to settle down, but it’s hard to ignore a .056 xBA and .079 xBA against offspeed and breaking pitches respectively. He’ll have to adjust to Major League pitching, but despite striking out more than one would like, and not racking up a ton of hard contact, the parallels to some other players is interesting.


Launch Angle

Hard Hit% (95+ EV)

Barrel Rate

Oswaldo Cabrera




Jake Cronenworth




Marcus Semien




Courtesy of Baseball Savant

The lack of barrels is concerning, but again, he’s seven games into his first taste of big league action, let’s cut the guy a break. Semien, despite a 15th percentile hard hit rate and 36th percentile barrel rate, has 20 home runs on the season, and Cronenworth has 12 home runs with a similar profile, in terms of launch angle, hard hit rate, and barrel rate. Playing in Yankee Stadium, Cabrera doesn’t need the most prolific batted ball profile to be a 20-25 home run guy, but from what we’ve seen, he’s got a bit of a way to go before we can see that. Also, I don’t know if he’s going to be afforded the opportunity the rest of the way.

In dynasty formats, you’re obviously keeping Cabrera and not cutting bait, so that setup is irrelevant for this conversation. In shallower formats, you can likely do better than Cabrera at this point. Yes, he’s played all around the field for the Yankees, so he has an opportunity to continue to see at-bats, but we have more questions than answers about his playing time when Giancarlo Stanton returns on Thursday. Cabrera’s versatility allowed the Yankees to shuffle players in and out of the DH to give them a “day off” while Cabrera handled the defensive rigors. When Stanton returns, he’ll dominate the DH role, which means that Cabrera will have to hope for an outfield spot, or that the Yankees give him more at-bats compared to Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop. Also, to be fair, I don’t think Cabrera has done enough to force their hand into keeping him in the lineup every day, so playing time questions are prevalent moving forward.

Long-term, Cabrera is an intriguing talent, but a lack of early production and impending playing time concerns make him droppable for me in shallower formats this season.

Statistical Credits:


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