The New York Yankees have a handful of prospects that get quite a bit of attention. Jake Cave is not one of them – yet.
So who exactly is the center fielder for the Tampa Yankees?
Cave was drafted by the Yankees in the sixth round of the 2011 amateur draft out of Kecoughtoan High School (Hampton, VA). The report on him was that he possessed plus-hitting and defense. Despite being a sixth round pick, the Yankees thought enough of Cave to give him an $800,000 signing bonus, well above the average for a player picked where he was. His luck changed in his first game of rookie ball, however. Cave shattered his kneecap during a home plate collision. The injury would sideline the youngster for almost two years.
Cave would not let the early adversity put a hex on his young career. 2013 was Cave’s rookie season and he more than held his own at Low-A Charleston. Playing a full season for the RiverDogs, he hit .282 with two home runs, six triples and thirty-one RBI. He also stole eighteen bases. His play in center field was outstanding.
The solid campaign led to a promotion to High-A Tampa to start this season, and he hasn’t missed a beat. Through 50 games, the Yankees’ leadoff hitter is batting .319. He has already matched his home run total from a season ago, and has fifteen RBI and three triples, to go with seven steals. Cave is again playing a solid centerfield. The one thing coaches would like to see, is Cave improve on his 41/16 strikeout-to-walk-ratio.
Being just 21-years-old and not even halfway through his second season, Cave is a player with a lot of potential and room to grow. What his ceiling is can be anyone’s guess, but if he continues to improve and be a difference maker, Jake Cave could be a player you see rise up the ranks of the Yankees’ farm system.