The New York Yankees knew they were getting a talent infusion and versatile defender when they promoted Oswaldo Cabrera from Triple-A last week. What they probably didn’t know at the time was that they were also adding an exceptional fielder with unmatched energy who would run through a wall (or Marwin Gonzalez) if he got the opportunity.
It’s one thing to know someone can play multiple positions. It’s another thing to witness what Cabrera brings every time he’s in the lineup, no matter where he’s situated. Somehow, whether Cabrera’s playing second, short, or right field, he’s in all three of those places at once.
The 23-year-old’s unique talents have been on display plenty during his first big-league cameo. From home run robberies to flashy glove flips, it’s often tough to ignore Cabrera, who won’t let you ignore him. His subtleties are special too, though, as highlighted by his underlying defensive credentials.
Per certain metrics, Cabrera is the ninth-best right fielder in MLB and he’s been here for six seconds. His 5 DRS in right have surely been affected by a number of highlight-reel plays (catches at the wall, gunned-down throws at the plate, etc.), but he’s put himself in the right place at the right time and executed.
Over and over and over. In a week. And he also plays shortstop and second base and third. Might be a keeper.
Yankees’ Oswaldo Cabrera racking up DRS in right field already
After a quick trip over to the trusty calculator, it seems Cabrera’s on pace for (types) 5,498 runs saved over the course of his career. Cooperstown, here we come!
Objectively, this pace is absurd, but for this early burst to be occurring in right field, by far Cabrera’s most unfamiliar position and one he’s only played in 25 innings across three minor-league games this season, it’s obvious he can create high-yield plays out of nearly nothing.
Again, Cabrera is not a right fielder. The idea wasn’t even a glimmer in his eye until 2022. And he’s managed to navigate the right field fence at Yankee Stadium while gunning Mets down at the plate. Absurd.
Cabrera might not be the Yankees’ everyday right field solution moving forward, but he’s a malleable gamer, willing to fit his slender frame into whatever niche Aaron Boone needs to fill.
He won’t be a locked-in October starter, but he’ll somehow find his way into the postseason’s biggest moments. That’s just what he does. And when he gets there, he’ll save another defensive run or two.