Yankees’ prized utility man primed for breakout 2023

yankees, oswaldo cabrera
Mar 24, 2023; Sarasota, Florida, USA; New York Yankees infielder Oswaldo Cabrera (95) hits a 3-run home run during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The year of Yankees’ super utility star Oswaldo Cabrera is upon us. In the words of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., “last year was the trailer, now you get to see the movie.”

Oswaldo was called up last season during a time of need, and he didn’t miss a beat. He was slotted into right field promptly and, thanks to the help of his brother, was able to learn the position with near-perfection levels of play out there defensively. 

Cabrera is a key player to the Yanks’ success this season, and I imagine he’ll see time all across the diamond. He’s currently positioned to be utilized as the team’s primary utility guy, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he is in the starting lineup on Opening Day. This spring, he has taken a step forward with the bat, and if that maintains, he’ll be one of the most valuable players on the squad. 

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Oswaldo Cabrera dominated Spring Training with the Yankees:

This spring, his line was exceptional, and he displayed patience and aggression when needed at the dish. He OPS’d 1.001 over the month, hit four dingers, swiped a bag, and worked 5 walks while striking out just 11 times. He improved a ton from what we saw last season, though spring stats should always be taken with a grain of salt. 

Oswaldo may not have an everyday role right off the bat, but the injury to Bader does complicate things a tad. He saw some time in CF this spring, so it’ll be interesting to see how much faith the Yanks have in him to potentially play there in-game. He can truly play every position except for catcher, and I wouldn’t be surprised if, by the end of the year, he’s played a game at every spot. 

Last year, he answered the call and performed quite well. He posted a 111 wRC+, hit 6 HR, and posted an astonishing 13 DRS across both the infield and outfield. His excellence defensively led to him finishing the year with 1.5 fWAR, despite only playing 44 games. That 1.5 fWAR was better than IKF, who finished with 1.3 in 142 games. Simply put, he was him when he came up. 

This year should be an even better year for the switch-hitting super utility stud. I expect him to at least double his fWAR and ultimately be one of the most underrated players in the league. He’s got all the tools to be a name-stay on this team, and in theory, he’ll be around for years to come. Oswaldo’s time to shine is now, and he will take the opportunity and sprint away with it into the sunset.