San Diego Padres' Everth Cabrera Emerging As Dynamic Threat

By Thom Tsang
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Most baseball fans already know that Everth Cabrera can steal bases.

After all, the San Diego Padres shortstop swiped 44 bags in just 449 PA in 2012, so it’s really no surprise that he’s on a 60-plus SB pace in 2013, after having stolen 19 in just 220 PA.

But did you know he’s got a developing power game too?

That’s not something the Arizona Diamondbacks might have known about prior to this season, but they’re well aware of it by now, especially after San Diego’s 10-4 win on Saturday in which Cabrera played both the roles of table-setter and hammer.

Going 3-for-5, the shortstop was never more dynamic than on this night, coming just a triple short of the cycle and driving in four runs in total. It was his two-run homer in the third inning that kick-started the Padre’s offense and brought them back into the game from a 2-0 deficit, and it was his two-run double in the fourth who really blew the game open in a five-run inning for the Friars.

Oh and if you’re wondering, yes, he swiped a bag as well.

The home run on Saturday follows a blast from the 26-year old on Friday, and gives him a cool .364/.364/.818 triple-slash with five extra-base hits in 22 at-bats against the desert snakes in Arizona. While we’re having fun with numbers, that would put Cabrera on pace for 13 homers, meaning a 10-60 season may be legitimately in reach.

Not bad for a guy who’d hit just five homers in 1128 PA prior to this season, right?

It’s perhaps even more impressive considering that he’d barely gotten on base enough to stick on the Padres roster only a few seasons ago, but that’s ancient history by now. Despite seeing fewer pitches in the zone than ever (50.3 percent in 2013), Cabrera is making more contact on the baseball than in seasons past at 82.4 percent, tied for a career high with his rookie season.

Not only that, but he’s making good contact too, with a career-high 24.5 percent line drive rate, while otherwise pounding the ball in the ground in a consistent manner (3.32 GB/FB, career-high minus his nine-PA 2011 season) and giving him the opportunity to get on to wreak havoc on the basepaths with his speed.

If he can keep those homers coming, we could be looking at a legitimate breakout season from a dynamic shortstop … and you know, playing in the same division as the Diamondbacks couldn’t hurt either.

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