Melky Cabrera
Melky Cabrera
35-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Pittsburgh Pirates
2019 Fantasy Outlook
After waiting until after the season began to sign with Cleveland, Cabrera didn't make his 2018 debut until late May. He didn't show any significant signs of decline once he took the field. With injuries decimating the Tribe's outfield depth, the 34-year-old worked in a fairly regular role and submitted a credible .280/.335/.420 line, which was roughly in line with his career marks. Even at his peak, Cabrera was never much more than a supporting outfielder for any fantasy roster. His days of mixed-league relevance might be nearing an end, as Cabrera's status as a subpar defender and league-average hitter probably won't entice teams to sign him with the intention of making him a full-time player. He may need to rely on injuries again this season to open up regular starts. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $1.15 million contract with the Pirates in February of 2019.
Remains on bench
OFPittsburgh Pirates
August 28, 2019
Cabrera is not starting Wednesday against the Phillies.
ANALYSIS
Cabrera has fallen out of a starting role recently, getting the nod just twice in the last nine games. Jose Osuna, who starts in right field Wednesday, has moved ahead of him on the depth chart, though the fact Osuna has also gotten playing time at the infield corner spots is leaving some starts open for Cabrera.
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
7
4
28
11
1
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
6
7
1
13
4
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+3%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+11%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+16%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+7%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .753 363 37 12 56 0 .284 .312 .441
Since 2017vs Right .732 978 112 18 115 4 .282 .327 .405
2019vs Left .664 127 14 3 16 0 .270 .276 .389
2019vs Right .736 270 29 4 31 2 .286 .331 .405
2018vs Left .841 73 5 2 16 0 .309 .356 .485
2018vs Right .722 205 23 4 23 1 .269 .327 .396
2017vs Left .785 163 18 7 24 0 .285 .321 .464
2017vs Right .734 503 60 10 61 1 .286 .325 .409
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+11%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+1%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+47%
OPS on Road
2017
 
 
+5%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .696 614 63 13 89 2 .268 .308 .389
Since 2017Away .773 727 86 17 82 2 .295 .336 .438
2019Home .710 191 18 3 26 0 .279 .325 .385
2019Away .714 206 25 4 21 2 .281 .302 .412
2018Home .597 120 9 1 20 1 .232 .267 .330
2018Away .879 158 19 5 19 0 .319 .386 .493
2017Home .727 303 36 9 43 1 .276 .314 .413
2017Away .763 363 42 8 42 0 .294 .332 .430
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Stat Review
How does Melky Cabrera compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.41
 
BB Rate
4.3%
 
K Rate
10.3%
 
BABIP
.300
 
ISO
.119
 
AVG
.280
 
OBP
.313
 
SLG
.399
 
OPS
.713
 
wOBA
.311
 
Exit Velocity
88.3 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
31.1%
 
Barrels/PA
1.8%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
Cabrera pops up under "boring" in the dictionary, but he's still getting it done for fantasy owners. For the fourth straight season, Cabrera batted over .273, hit 12-plus homers and reached the 70-run and 70-RBI thresholds. His numbers fell off following the trade from Chicago to Kansas City, but Cabrera was still good enough on the whole in four categories to earn double digits in 15-team leagues. Cabrera's walk rate slid back to just 5.4 percent -- a six-year low -- but his contact skills are holding steady. His 11.1 percent strikeout rate was the seventh-lowest among qualified hitters. There is a total absence of upside with Cabrera, and the floor may not be as steady as it seems at a glance given his steadily declining defense, but it seems likely that the 33-year-old will continue to receive near-everyday playing time in 2018 on the strength of his offensive skill set.
The Melk Man delivered another quality season where he did a little bit of everything, but nothing truly outstanding. The .296 average was a nice jump from 2015 and he drove in 86 runs, made possible by hitting in the middle of the lineup all season. Last year, the power came from the left side (11 of 14 homers) and the better average came from the right (.322 vs .289), but historically the left side has been the better of the two for both. At this stage of his career, Cabrera is very stable in his skills but is a very boring veteran. The speed is gone, but he can contribute in the other three counting categories and hit for a solid average. There is safety in boredom, and Cabrera should be there late in the draft as a fallback option.
Cabrera was one of several big splashes of Chicago's 2014 offseason, and he was also one of several misses. By fWAR, he was one of the worst batters in the American League. Despite moving to one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the league, his slugging percentage dipped below .400 and his .121 ISO was his lowest mark since 2010. A slow start tarnished his overall season line. He was hitting .241 with one home run on the last day of May, but had a slightly more respectable .779 OPS over the remainder of the season. His defense in left was atrocious, and he could benefit from a move to DH. Down season aside, Cabrera is guaranteed an everyday lineup spot for the White Sox, likely near the heart of the order.
Persistent leg trouble caused by a benign tumor completely derailed Cabrera in 2013, but he rebounded in a big way last season before a fractured pinky ended his season in early September. Other than the drop in stolen bases (six), Cabrera's numbers resembled his 2011 and 2012 work with the Royals and Giants, as he carried a .157 ISO, hit above .300 and was a steady source of runs scored and RBI as part of a strong Blue Jays lineup. His defense continues to grade out poorly, but getting away from the turf at Rogers Centre should help his legs at this stage of his career. In terms of park effects, Cabrera's 2014 numbers were nearly even at home (.807 OPS) and on the road (.810 OPS), and his slugging percentage was actually lower last season than it was in more pitcher-friendly environments earlier in his career. After signing with the White Sox in December, Cabrera projects as the team's new everyday left fielder and potential No. 2 hitter.
Leg injuries were the theme of Cabrera's 2013 campaign, and he was limited to just 372 plate appearances in his first season with the Blue Jays. After serving a PED suspension in 2012 and battling injuries in 2013, Cabrera heads into 2014 with quite a bit of uncertainty after posting a disappointing .279/.323/.360 line a seaon ago. A return to his 2011-12 form is possible, if unlikely, but a healthy Cabrera should at least provide the Jays with a serviceable starting left fielder. Given that his monster 2012 season was fueled by a .379 BABIP, his 2011 campaign -- .305/.339/.479 with 18 home runs and 20 stolen bases -- is probably the better proxy for his ceiling. Even that may be stretching it, as the 18 home runs he hit in 2011 were easily a career high. Health-wise, Cabrera is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.
Cabrera had quite a tumultuous 2012 season starting out as the Giants' offensive catalyst, winning the All-Star Game MVP, becoming an early-season NL MVP candidate before getting suspended for 50 games after testing positive for synthetic testosterone. After hitting .346/.390/.516 with 11 home runs and 13 stolen bases in 113 games, it is unclear what numbers were influenced by PEDs. However, his .379 BABIP is unlikely to be duplicated as his 52.2 percent groundball rate represented a career high. With Cabrera's move to Toronto, he could post a career-best home-run rate if he can improve upon his 26.6 percent flyball rate.
2011 was a banner year for the "Milk Man" as he posted career bests in batting average, slugging percentage, walk rate, home runs, RBI, steals, runs and, not surprisingly, plate appearances. It should be noted that the center fielder's numbers were somewhat fueled by a .332 BABIP, which was also a career high. Still, Cabrera proved to be a valuable asset to the Royals as he was traded in the offseason to the Giants for Jonathan Sanchez. In San Francisco, his power numbers likely will dip, something owners will want to keep in mind on draft day. As for his speed, it's not likely that the 2012 Giants run as often as the 2011 Royals did, so don't bank on him automatically producing another 20-steal season.
Cabrera's bounce-back 2009 season made him appear to be a potential fantasy impact player as he registered double digits home runs and stolen bases. However, he struggled last season and never maintained a starting role after he was traded to the Braves. He doesn't have great plate discipline and his power declined sharply as he hit just four home runs. He'll compete for the starting center-field job after signing with Kansas City, but may be better suited for a reserve role since he can play all three outfield positions.
Despite losing his center-field spot to Brett Gardner in the spring last year, Cabrera eventually regained the role and improved his offensive numbers from 2008: .274/.336/.416. Even with the improvement, however, he was often the weakest link in the Yankees' lineup, which led to his trade to the Braves for Javier Vazquez. He has a better chance of keeping an everyday job in the Atlanta outfield with weaker competition, but he could move to a reserve role once Jason Heyward is ready for the majors or fall into a platoon role with Matt Diaz. Still, with regular playing time he could help fantasy teams with double digits in home runs and stolen bases.
Despite opening the season as the Yankees' starting center fielder, Cabrera played his way out of that role by the end of August and was actually sent down to Triple-A because of his season-long offensive struggles -- .249/.301/.341, 414 at-bats. Johnny Damon and Brett Gardner became viable options to play center during Cabrera's demotion and at press time, both were still in the mix for playing time heading into spring training. At 24, he's still young enough to develop some plate discipline and additional power, but a change of scenery may be the only chance he has of becoming a more productive everyday player.
Johnny Damon battled nagging injuries for most of the season, which opened the door for Cabrera to impress with his glove and essentially take away the starting job in center field by season's end. As he matures, Cabrera will need to take more walks to improve his mediocre on-base percentage, but he appears to be a viable power and speed threat on the rise, especially when you consider the level of talent that will support him in the lineup. He's got the tools to be a 20-20 guy and there will be plenty of runs driven in and scored so long as he's playing everyday. Damon and Jason Giambi have contracts too big to platoon at DH, but the reality is that Cabrera is a much better defensive center fielder than Damon and he should be able to hold on to the starting job.
Injuries to Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield opened the door for Cabrera, who didn't disappoint during his first season in New York. Cabrera seized the rare opportunity to play as a young Yankee prospect, showing good plate discipline (59 strikeouts in 460 at bats) and good speed on the basepaths (12 steals) while drawing a walk in every 10 plate appearances. He's penciled in as the Yanks' fourth outfielder heading into the season, so barring a trade or collapse this spring, Cabrera has put Bernie Williams out of work.
The Yankees turned to the 20-year-old Cabrera in a desperate midseason hunt for a centerfielder, and the results were disappointing. After going 3-for-7 in his first two games, Cabrera was 1-for-12 in his last four and continued to struggle after heading back to the minors. While Cabrera is still very young and could continue to develop, he doesn't have much power or speed. It will likely be at least two years before he's ready to contribute at the major league level and there are far better prospects out there.
Cabrera is a slap-hitting outfielder without great speed or power. He may gain some of the latter as he moves up the ladder, but it's tough to see him finding much of a foothold in the majors before 2007, and probably not with the Yankees.
More Fantasy News
Retreats to bench
OFPittsburgh Pirates
August 27, 2019
Cabrera isn't starting Tuesday's game against the Phillies.
ANALYSIS
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Gets start Monday in Philly
OFPittsburgh Pirates
August 26, 2019
Cabrera will bat fifth and start in right field Monday against the Phillies.
ANALYSIS
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Out of Sunday's lineup
OFPittsburgh Pirates
August 25, 2019
Cabrera is not in the lineup for Sunday's game versus the Reds.
ANALYSIS
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Not in Friday's lineup
OFPittsburgh Pirates
August 23, 2019
Cabrera is not in Friday's lineup against the Reds.
ANALYSIS
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On bench Wednesday
OFPittsburgh Pirates
August 21, 2019
Cabrera is not in Wednesday's lineup against the Nationals.
ANALYSIS
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