I really wasn’t planning on writing anything today, but a piece I read by ESPN’s Buster Olney really gnawed at me, and one of the benefits of being a blogger is that I can react whenever I feel like it and have something to say. So anyway, Olney has been rolling out this offseason feature, ranking the top 10 players position by position with input from other MLB evaluators. It’s a pretty cool feature.
On Friday, he posted his Top 10 Shortstops, and while I was hoping to see Asdrubal Cabrera on that list, I was shocked that he wasn’t even one of the eight shortstops listed among his honorable mentions. Are you kidding me?
I find it difficult to believe that Asdrubal Cabrera couldn’t crack a Top 18 List, and I decided to see how he ranked offensively last season among his peers.
Easily one of my favorite statistics for gauging overall offensive value, Asdrubal Cabrera ranked 4th in MLB with a 119 wRC+ behind only Carlos Correa (122), Manny Machado (129) and Corey Seager (137).
A better version of OBP, Cabrera ranked 6th in MLB with a .345 wOBA, just behind Xander Bogaerts who had a .349 wOBA.
Cabrera ranked 4th in MLB in Slugging Percentage with a very robust .474 mark, trailing only Brad Miller (.482), Corey Seager (.512) and Manny Machado (.523).
In addition to these impressive showings, Cabrera finished in the Top 10 in fWAR (3.0), Home Runs (23), RBI (66), OPS (.810) and Batting Average (.280). If not for a stint on the disabled list, he would have finished in the top five in hits, homers, RBIs and runs scored.
Cabrera, 31, surprised everyone and gave the Mets his best offensive season since 2012, and while UZR was not kind to him, those of us who watched him play day in and day out saw Cabrera solidify the shortstop position defensively after several years of porous and erratic defense.
Of the 30 qualified shortstops, 22 of them committed more errors than Cabrera’s 7 miscues, and his fielding percentage was the 4th best in the majors.
After Asdrubal returned from the disabled list on August 19, he became a mainstay in the number two hole in the order and batted .345 the rest of the way with a .406 on-base and 1.041 OPS in 165 plate appearances.
So I’ll end this by saying, shame on you Buster Olney and your MLB evaluators. Your omission of Asdrubal Cabrera among your top 18 shortstops was a glaring oversight. Better luck next time.