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.

  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

  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.

  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?

  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.