Thinking About Melky

Melky Cabrera is a polarizing figure among Yankees fans. His effusive nature and obvious love of the game endears him to some fans, while his inconsistent play infuriates others. As Joe at RAB states:

I don’t think I’ll ever understand Melky Cabrera. Some times he looks like he could be an average starting center fielder, getting on base at a decent clip, though not with much power, and playing a solid if unspectacular defense. Plus, his arm doesn’t hurt his case. Other times he looks like he can’t catch up to a Jamie Moyer fastball. We saw way too much of the latter last year, so that’s what most people remember. There was a time when Melky had quite a few more advocates.

However, whatever you think about Melky, it is important to remember that he is only 24. People often forget that he was in the majors for good at 21, and view him as a finished product. Take Mark Feinsand’s blog post from yesterday, for example:

Melky Cabrera had a great day with two homers, including the game-winner in the 14th, but let’s not all start the campaign for him to be the center fielder again. This guy showed over three years what his ceiling was, so don’t let four homers this week make you believe he’s going to break out and become the next Bernie Williams. Melky is a fourth outfielder – and a very good one – but the Yankees know that playing him every day would only expose his flaws.

Considering that many players do not even see the majors until they hit Melky’s current age, I think that it is difficult to say that he has reached his ceiling. I do not think that Melky is going to be a great center fielder, or even a starter for a championship caliber club. However, to declare that we know where his career is going because he spent his developmental years in the majors rather than the minors is silly. At 24, I think it is reasonable to suggest that Melky could possibly have another gear.

What do you think about Melky?

0 thoughts on “Thinking About Melky

  1. I agree completely. Yankee fans in particular are way too quick to write a player off, because of a bad year, rather than looking at the big picture of the player’s career.

    • Let’s be honest, his career as a whole isnt great. His first two years were solid for a player his age, but they were not great seasons. However, that is just the point, isn’t it? he has had two age appropriate seasons and one bad year. Who can say that he does not have more improvement coming?

  2. Great point, Moshe, I totally agree. You look at a guy like Carlos Quentin, and it took him until he was 25 to figure things out. Melky’s still very young and last year might have been a good wake up call.

    That being said, my eye says his ceiling is much lower than a Quentin type but his PECOTA comps include Carlos Beltran, Coco Crisp, Pete Rose, Carl Yastrzemski, Nick Markakis, Reggie Smith, and Bernie Williams so maybe he could still become a top flight starting OF

    • yeah, as I said in the article, the eyes say that he wont ever be a starter on a winning team. However, being that he is only 24, was a highly regarded prospect, and held his own for two seasons at ages 21 and 22, I would say that giving up on him is hasty. I would be willing to trade him in the right deal, however.

      • Is this the same guy who wrote the following a couple of weeks ago: “Melky Carera is not a good baseball player. There, I’ve said it.”, Moshe Mandel, April 13? Melky is so polarizing that your multiple personalities are split on the issue.

  3. JD, no need to get so nasty. However, I will address your point. While I probably should have been a bit less blunt in my statement, I haven’t said anything here to contradict it. I do not think Melky is a good baseball player, and two weeks of good play is not going to change that. As I said in the article, he is not a starter on a good team, and personally I do not think he has the type of skill set you usually want off the bench. As I mentioned in the comments here, I would trade him, although the Nady injury has made him more important. All I am saying here is that although I don’t think he is good, it is hard to state with certainty that has reached his ceiling.
    In sum, next time, try to read my entire point in context before playing the ‘gotcha’ game.

    • Come on Moshe, you have not been consistent on the subject of Melky for some time and you are far too thin skinned. You have a right to change your mind but all of us can read. Please don’t pretend that “Melky Carera is not a good baseball player” is consistent with your statement that “to declare that we know where his career is going because he spent his developmental years in the majors rather than the minors is silly”. Frankly, I agree with your most recent statement, we simply do not know enough to make a prediction. I would not be surprised to see him evolve into a player that can hit .280-.300 with 8-14 HRs. In fact, I would not be surprised to see him do it this year.

      • You can read it however you want. And also, let’s be fair, JD, you come here often and are often critical of the opinions of the writers in a nasty manner (I think you called one of Chris’s articles a waste). This has nothing to do with a thin skin, as I am perfectly willing to deal with criticism, it has to do with a pattern from a commenter of “gotcha” and “this is a waste” type stuff. I am glad to have you here, but I think it is fair to ask you to take the nasty out of the comments.

        In regard to your point, let me clarify. I do not think Melky is a good player at this point. That being said, he is young enough that it is possible to see him reaching another level. I do not think he has that next level, but I cannot make that statement with any certainty.

        And just as an aside, if I say he is not a good player, and the evidence shows otherwise, I would be glad to change my opinion. This idea of consistency of opinions regarding a changing commodity is silly. If he turns out to be a good player, I will admit that I was wrong and change my opinion.

        • Let me go on record as saying, as I have before, that this is an excellent site with very good content. You guys are prolific — you in particular. That said, once in a while I am going to enjoy tweaking you in a good natured way. Part of that is checking you for consistency, even if that feels like gotcha. Anyway, lets move on. Joe

          • That’s cool. And as I mentioned above, we like having you commenting here, and I am fine with being checked for consistency- that is the danger I face by writing for the blog.

          • Yeah, Moshe and I had a little disagreement over Melky a few days ago. I think he’s actually showing open-mindedness by admitting the possibility of another gear for the Melkman, and I don’t see that the two posts are necessarily logically inconsistent, just differing in slant.

            That being said, there’s nothing wrong with a little banter and tweaking back and forth. Moshe writes so much, that I’m not actually convinced he’s only one person. It might be a Shakespeare kind of thing, where several different writers are all combining their work under Mo’s name. I’ve got my eye on you, Mandel. I think JD’s onto something!

          • How did you figure it out?



            The E’s were necessary to create a real sounding name. Well done, investigator. We would have gotten away with it too, if not for those kids and that pesky dog.

  4. I knew it! You gave yourself away way too easily though, Moshe (or whatever personality is currently inhabiting your avatar). Who are you actually hiding behind those E’s, hmmmm?

    • Edgar Allen Poe and Ernest Hemingway. They did not want anyone to know, what with their being dead and all.

  5. “At 24, I think it is reasonable to suggest that Melky could possibly have another gear. ”

    Whenever I want to write Melky off, I think of his age and how much MLB experience he has and it always gives me pause. He’s an odd player, in that he’s known for his speed yet has a stocky, almost Andruw Jones-like body. You wonder if there’s any power potential there, though his swing doesn’t fit the profile of a slugger.

    If Melky plays his way into more time, I could see a platoon evolving with him and Gardner where Melky plays vs tough lefties and they split up the rest of the ABs based on match ups.

    We should caution ourselves that Melky had a similarly strong April LAST year, and we all know what happened next.