|Cesar Cabral is the consensus top choice to be the last guy out of the Yankees bullpen this year. Image thanks to blog.prorumors.com.|
I usually get really into the rule 5 draft. Last year I actually wasted time looking at guys I thought would be good candidates for the Yankees to draft, only to find out that the guys I found intriguing were not only passed up by the Yankees but also by everyone else in major league baseball. As it turns out, I am not a very good rule 5 scout. Life goes on.
Anyway, this year I completely glazed over it assuming we would get some crappy players and not end up keeping them. I think Meyers, who we picked up from the Nationals, is definitely a player in the same mold as the guys we got last year. Then I took a look at Cesar Cabral, read a little scouting report on him, and looked at his numbers in high A and AA last year. Needless to say I am now on the Cesar Cabral bandwagon. I think he could be a great candidate to not only get lefties out as a left handed bullpen arm, but possibly have success against righties as well. Here's why I like him.
1. He's only 23 years old, with a ton of team control left.
2. Fastball in the mid 90's from a LHP.
3. Above average change up (this is why I think he can get righties out)
4. Two breaking balls (not sure if they're good but he has them)
5. He's a former Red Sox prospect, and any time we can stick it to them like that, it feels good.
6. There's a good chance that we can retain some of our other relief options in the minor leagues for depth, at least until Joba/Aardsma return, whereas Cabral is back to the Sox if he doesn't break camp with the team.
7. Pitched really well in the Dominican Winter League this year.
Now, here's why I like him stat-wise
1. 2.95 ERA last season
2. 70 K in 55 IP. (44 in 38 AA innings)
3. 3.33 K/BB
Can't find any lefty splits on him, but scouting reports say he's better against LHB than RHB for what it's worth.
Now, for what I don't like. 1.4 WHIP. 9 h/9 IP. Inexperienced. Tampa Bay took him in the rule 5 draft last year and he didn't stick, so that makes it less likely he'll stick with us this year.
All in all a lot of sources think he's the frontrunner for that last spot in the bullpen. He'll really have to perform well in ST to get there though. I hope he does because he could be a staple on our team for years to come, and we can avoid the Feliciano and Marte disasters in future seasons, and put that money towards other needs.