Oswaldo Cabrera (NYY): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI.
If you were searching for Oswaldo Cabrera’s stats in April/May, you’d need to dig into the minor league game logs. In fact, he didn’t even get the nod to join the MLB squad until mid-August. Although, after last night’s 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, and 5 RBI night, it’s not too challenging to see why he’s getting everyday reps.
Cabrera didn’t take long to break this one open, as his first AB resulted in a Grand Slam that put the Pirates in an early 4-0 hole. Additionally, his one-run double was added in the 8th inning for good measure. On top of last night’s terrific outing, Cabrera has been swinging a red hot stick. Since September 10th, he’s 11-for-33 with an OPS north of 1.000-insanely good!
The biggest issue for Cabrera might be playing time. As the departure of Joey Gallo and the injury to Andrew Benintendi opened up a spot, Harrison Bader was activated from the IL. Not to mention, Aaron Hicks still sits in the mix. If he can keep up the current pace, he’s not going anywhere, but if he reverts to the .611 OPS/74 WRC+ player we saw in August, those plate appearances could erode.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday.
Gleyber Torres (NYY): 3-4, 2 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI, BB.
Have a night, Gleyber! Certainly, his stat line could justify him as the highlighted player, but instead, his teammate gets the spotlight. The pair of dingers pushes his total to 21, and he’s finally flexing the power we saw in his early days with the pinstripes. One of the main reasons for the sudden surge in power is the flyball rate, and it’s back to 40%, up six ticks from 2021. If he can maintain the power and continue to chip in nearly double digits steals next year, he’ll be a great draft day target at second base.
Steven Kwan (CLE): 3-5, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB.
Look, if you hit a combo meal (HR+SB), there is an increased chance you’ll end up in my Batter’s Box write-up. For Kwan, last night was great, but WOW, he’s been on fire lately. Since September 17th, he’s 14-for-26(.538) with eight runs, four RBI, one HR, and a pair of stolen bases. Talk about lightning in a bottle at the right time of the year. While we shouldn’t count on him for much in the power department, the rest of the profile is precious.
Nick Fortes (MIA): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI.
The Marlins acquired Jacob Stallings in the offseason; however, they may have different plans for next Spring Training. Fortes has been a decent option behind the plate as he showcases a 102 wRC+ with K-rate south of 20%. Furthermore, he’s an incredibly difficult out for southpaws as he strikes out less than 9% of the time while parking three pitches into the bleachers. Still, Fortes only recently passed 300 big league ABs, so the jury isn’t out on precisely what he’ll become.
Joey Meneses (WSH): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.
You can’t help but feel great for Meneses, who’s finally getting a shot with the MLB squad riding minor league buses for what seems like an eternity. During his 11 minor league seasons, Meneses took over 3200 hacks, but it wasn’t until 2018 when the power emerged. After stops in Atlanta, Philly, and Boston’s organization, the Nationals took a chance on the 30-year-old. He’s repaid the opportunity by swatting his 10th HR and putting Washington up late in the game.
Kyle Stowers (BAL): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Another week and another Baltimore prospect steps up. Only this time, it’s Kyle Stowers. He hasn’t made the big box score splashes like Rutschman or Henderson until now. Quite the opposite. He’s struggled to handle MLB pitching and striking out nearly a third of the time. However, he didn’t have a problem in the 6th inning when he sent a Matt Manning four-seamer screaming over the fences.
J.T. Realmuto (PHI): 2-5, HR, R, RBI, SB.
Philly’s offense was stagnant until Realmuto broke the silence late in the 8th inning with his 21st HR. Shortly after, the team plated two more runs and pushed the game into extra innings. Eventually, they locked up their 81st win. The quest to be only the second catcher ever to compile a 20 HR/20 SB season continued as he swiped his 18th bag of the season. With only 14 regular season games remaining, JTR can taste the milestone and is surely eyeing it down.
Martín Maldonado (HOU): 3-4, HR, R, RBI.
Another catcher? Yes, because an unlikely hero stepped forward as Maldonado collected a pair of hits before the 9th inning insurance blast. Unfortunately, he gives back at the plate everything he provides as a solid defensive catcher. Over the past two seasons(779 ABs), his batting average is well below the Mendoza Line, and he’s become a source of empty power. That’s basically why the team acquired Christian Vázquez from Boston, to cut back on Maldonado’s time at the dish.
Adolis García (TEX): 2-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI.
Another special night for Adolis should continue to remind fantasy managers that his 31 HR/16 SB season in 2021 was no flash in the pan. In fact, he’s followed up it by crushing 25 HR and swiping another 24 bases. While many shouted regression, he’s quieted the naysayers by cutting back the strikeouts a smidge and taking his game to another level. Unfortunately, I don’t believe he will come with such a draft day cost, and you’ll have to pay the full freight to ride the Adolis hype train in 2023.
Patrick Wisdom (CHC): 1-4, HR, R, RBI.
Only two players (Javier Báez and Luke Voit) in the MLB make less contact at the dish than Wisdom. They have similar approaches: swing as hard as you can and hope that enough batted balls leave the yard to overcome a poor batting average. With Willson Contreras still on the mends, Widsom’s 7th inning tater bolsters the count to 22 and moves him atop the team’s HR leaderboard. Still, a 33% K-rate will annihilate the batting average, and unless he’s hitting bombs, it’s an empty stat sheet.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)