Today, Rory Paap was up for the Giants ESPN Power Ranking blurb.
The swap of Jonathan Sanchez (62 ERA+) for Melky Cabrera (155 OPS+) is looking pretty good right about now. With Pablo Sandoval out, though, the Melkman is working without a wing man.
Let me go ahead and get this out of the way: I love Melky Cabrera. It’s weird, I know, but Melky has quickly become one of my favorite Giants. It’s a weird progression for a guy that I was admittedly lukewarm about when the team acquired him. This isn’t Huff level wrong, but it’s pretty close.
Of course, hitting the crap out of the ball for 1.5 months will make anyone come around on a player.
Entering today, Melky ranks in the National League in the following offensive categories.
* 13th in wOBA (.391)
* 14th in wRC+ (151)
* 3rd in hits (47)
* 12th in OBP (.396)
He’s not hitting for a huge amount of power, but he’s getting on base by racking up gobs of base-hits. Even if you think his BABIP will move back closer to his career average — it most assuredly will — Cabrera has impressed the heck out of me with his “all fields” approach.
Check out his Hit Chart courtesy of ESPN’s Stats & Info:
And his contact rate heat maps:
Melky has always had good-to-great contact rates; even in his down years he got the bat on the ball. However, this year he’s really covering the right side (from the hitter’s vantage) of the strike zone. One of the more interesting developments with Melky this year is that he’s hitting more balls on the ground than ever before. According to FanGraphs, Melky’s groundball to flyball ratio currently sits at 2.43; his current groundball percentage is 58.4 percent. Hitting the ball on the ground so much will help Melky’s batting average, but it’s going to hurt him in the power department. Still, it’s hard to argue with a .348/.396/.504 slash-line.
Also, it’s hard to argue with this …
One of the funner Giants to watch in recent memory. Cabrera is looking like a pretty good argument for taking a chance on a struggling player that experiences a career year in his late-20s. Because there’s always a chance that the player figures something out, and that payoff could be quite nice.