Yankees’ young utility man starting to find his swing

mlb: new york yankees at pittsburgh pirates, oswaldo cabrera
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are placing a premium on youth development as they map out their plans for the 2024 season. The team is eagerly seeking prospects and emerging players who can step up, either as utility components or supplementary options. While usurping starting roles would be ideal, the unfortunate season-ending injury to Jasson Dominguez has relegated most prospects to backup status for now.

Oswaldo Cabrera’s Rising Offensive Capabilities

Oswaldo Cabrera, a young utility player, is slowly but surely revealing improved offensive prowess. At 24, he has a modest batting average of .221 and an OBP of .295 across 102 games this season. These stats include five home runs and 28 RBIs. However, Cabrera has upped his game in September, boasting a .257 batting average along with a .381 OBP, .400 slugging rate, and a .781 OPS.

Post-All-Star Numbers Indicate Growing Potential

Since the All-Star break, Cabrera has maintained a .265 average and an impressive .383 OBP. He’s chalked up 18 hits and nine RBIs over eight plate appearances. If he continues on this upward trajectory, he could become a key player for the Yankees in the coming years, especially considering his youthful age. He’s under contract until the free agency class of 2029 and currently earns less than $1 million per season—making him a high-value asset.

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Defensive Versatility: Cabrera’s Multi-Positional Skill Set

Defensively, Cabrera offers the Yankees an abundance of options, having demonstrated the ability to play nearly every position on the field. During this season, he’s clocked 484.1 innings in the outfield, 39 innings at shortstop, 104.1 innings at third base, 30 innings at second base, and even an inning at first base. His flexibility becomes particularly advantageous when the Yankees need to fill gaps due to injuries.

The Switch-Hitting Advantage: Adding Diversity to the Yankees’ Lineup

Cabrera’s capability as a switch hitter adds a layer of diversity to the Yankees’ batting order. His performance splits are intriguing; he generates more power when facing left-handed pitchers but has a better on-base percentage against right-handers. While not known as a power hitter, he has successfully leveraged Yankee Stadium’s short right porch when batting left-handed. Interestingly, he has recently become more adept at drawing walks, a pleasant development for the team.

Fan-Favorite Cabrera and His 2022 Spark

Oswaldo Cabrera was something of a lifeline for the Yankees in 2022 when they found themselves in need of outfield assistance. If he can maintain that level of output while continuing to refine his approach at the plate, he could very well turn into a long-term asset for the New York Yankees.