Skeptics Say: Lee Corso would say not so fast my friends. The home run to fly ball rate ballooned to more than four times what it was in 2010. If I had to put a lock on some over/under numbers for players in 2011 versus their 2012 projections, I would take the under on Cabrera getting to 25 home runs again. It also seemed that pitchers made their adjustments to him last year. Cabrera hit just .244 in the second half and had a .280 OBP in September last year.
Peer Comparison: There was a time about 13 years ago when fantoligists would sit and argue about A-Rod, Nomah, and Jeter. Who was best. The debate today doesn't include a Yankee, Red Sock, and lightning rod but is fun nonetheless.
Although the prime issue for me is the upside of a 21 and 22-year-old who have already proven themselves as upper-tier shortstops, a second idea comes to mind looking at these numbers. Cabrera should be drafted by a team that has not built their team to drive in a lot of runs. Given that Andrus is not going to be a middle of the order guy and Castro is not likely to be one (right Theo?), Cabrera is a much more reliable source of RBIs. The other two players will bring greater value in steals and average.
Lineup Outlook: There is room for Cabrera's average to grow as well as his runs and RBI. That's because Shin-Soo Choo missed half the season and wasn't good when he did play. Assuming he can stay healthy and return to form, Cabrera should see a couple more runs and/or RBI added to his 2011 totals. The same can't be said about Grady Sizemore. Time to give up.
What They're Saying: CBS Sportsline: #4 Shortstop; Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN.com: #6 Shortstop & #77 Overall; RotoChamp: #47 Overall
Projection: Even in that poor second half, the power did not drop off much for Cabrera, so while 25 homers is a bit much, he's not a light-hitting infielder either.
89 R 21 HR 85 RBI 15 SB .280 AVG .339 OBP .795 OPS
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