ASDRUBAL CABRERA, SS
Player Data: Age: 31, Bats: S, Throws: R, Contract: Signed for 2017 at $8.25 million
2016 Primary Stats: .280/.336/.474, 30 2B, 23 HR, 62 RBI
It was a tale of two seasons for Asdrubal Cabrera in 2016. Prior to landing on the disabled list on August 2, Asdrubal was having a fairly unremarkable year. He was certainly not a bust, hitting .262 with 12 home runs and 29 RBIs in 317 at-bats while playing smooth defense prior to the All Star break. But his most unsightly achievement of the year had been a horrendous 0-for-32 streak with runners in scoring position that symbolized the entire team’s failings with runners in scoring position.
But things changed dramatically for the better when Asdrubal returned from the disabled list on August 19. He became a mainstay in the number two hole in the order while batting .345 the rest of the way with a .406 on-base and 1.041 OPS in 165 plate appearances. In September, as we fought to clinch a Wild Card spot, he hit .321 with 6 home runs and 18 RBIs. The Mets, who had looked like they were thinking about 2017, went on a 22-12 run in his first 34 games back to get themselves right back in the hunt.
Asdrubal showed success from both sides of the plate, for the year hitting 20 of his home runs from the left side but hitting .321 from the right. He also played a steady (if unspectacular) defense, committing only seven errors from the shortstop position in 135 games. Overall it was a solid signing by Sandy.
And Asdrubal gets an extra plus by giving us the most exciting moment (and bat flip) of the year, when on September 22 he hit a three-run homer against the Phillies in the bottom of the 10th to give the Mets a 9-8 lead.
While it might be unfair to expect Cabrera to hit like he did in September for a 162 game season, he seems to have found a home in the two hole in the Mets lineup. Another .275 season with 20 home runs should be achievable next season coupled with more solid defense.