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Usually not a “Yankees game watcher” but I became a “Yankees game watcher” over the last six weeks of the season, because of the Aaron Judge home run chase, and then the playoffs, so by being a “Yankees game watcher” I became an “Oswaldo Cabrera watcher,” and, as I became an “Oswaldo Cabrera watcher,” I became an “Oswaldo Cabrera believer,” then, slowly, without even trying, against my better judgment, side thought separated by commas, I became an “Oswaldo Cabrera enjoyer.” As an “Oswaldo Cabrera enjoyer,” I’ve been impressed with his outfield defense, his poise in the box against some of the toughest pitchers, and his power and speed. An “Oswaldo Cabrera enjoyer” isn’t something I expected myself to become, but an “Oswaldo Cabrera enjoyer” I am. Quiz me on him, and you’ll see. Any question you have about “Oswaldo Cabrera” I can prove my “Oswaldo Cabrera enjoyer”-ness with just a flick of the finger, as I scroll the Google. Funnily enough, as an “Oswaldo Cabrera enjoyer,” you don’t get that title by just enjoying Oswaldo Cabrera, you have to enjoy him even while he’s not hitting incredibly well. His stats from last year 6/3/.247; 25.7% strikeout rate aren’t bad, but they’re not exactly affixing a match to the bottom of the earth and setting the world ablaze. Then again, I toyed with the autobiography title “IQ of 70” so what do I know? So, what can we expect from Oswaldo Cabrera for 2023 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Psyche! Before we get into the Oswaldo Cabrera sleeper post, just wanted to announce that I’ve begun to roll out my 2023 fantasy baseball rankings on our Patreon. It’s an early Hanukkah miracle! Or late Hanukah miracle, depending on when Hanukkah is this year. The Jews should really decide on one day to start Hanukah each year, and stick with it. It’s better for branding. Anyway II, the Oswaldo Cabrera sleeper:

That lineup? Makes Italian gesture of putting fingers to lips and blowing a kiss into the air. Mama mia! Oswaldo Cabrera should be sitting right in front of boppers or behind boppers. Between boppers? Absolutely. He’s Between Bopper Guaranteed. BBG ain’t nbd! So, that’s where Oswaldo is, striped shirt, jammy hat, but not stripped of counting stats.

Last year’s stats in the first ‘graph weren’t telling the whole story: His combined stats with minor league and postseason numbers included were 16/16 in 376 ABs. That I can dig. In 2021, he went 24/20/.256 in 437 ABs at Double-A as a 21-year-old. He’ll be 24 years old at the start of the 2023 season, for what it’s Cronenworth. How did he go from a 21-year-old in 2021 to 24 in 2023? I don’t know, I didn’t invent calendars. Go ask a Gregorian.

Since Oswaldo Cabrera is still young enough, here’s what Prospect Itch said about him last time he qualified as a rookie, “A switch-hitter who remade himself over the lost season, Cabrera now generates power from the ground up. He’s listed at 5’10” 145 lbs, which might be what he weighed when he signed at 16 but looks at least 30 pounds too light at the moment. Seems to me the prospect world has been slow to notice Cabrera’s 2021 season. He slashed .272/.330/.492 with 29 HR and 21 SB in 118 games across two levels, only nine of those happening at AAA, where he slashed .500/.583/1.133 with 5 HR. No typos there, friends. Cabrera hit five home runs over his first nine games at AAA. If he’d done so in May, he’d be a named guy by now, buoyed by the team’s hype machine and owned in every dynasty league. Makes for a smart target in supplemental drafts, and Grey’s head makes for a nice target with my poisoned darts.” Um, should I be worried here?

Power – check! It’s a great park, where he actually had expected nine homers in barely 150 at-bats last year. Oswaldo Cabrera’s Launch Angle was 21.5 and that concerns me a little for his batting average. It’s a lot of fly balls — last year’s rate was 50% — but that should mean a surprisingly number of homers. If he conservatively comes down to 45% fly ball rate, and has a 13% HR/FB rate, then we could see 25 homers. Hey, did someone shut off the lights or did my eyeballs just fall out of my head? 25 homers?! Um, I’m starting to sweat, please open a window. Even if it’s a 47% fly ball rate and only 10% HR/FB rate, then it’s 23 homers and he’s basically Alex Bregman. Can’t wrap my head around him being that good for power, so gonna veer on side of conservatism with my projections like my pandas, but just keep it in mind, that my power projection is purposely low to keep expectations in check.

Urychlit — Czech! Wait, I mean speed — check! With the limited pickoff moves, it’s easy to boost everyone’s speed, but the reality of the situation is teams still might not send guys, or if a guy is hitting in front of Aaron Judge, for unstints, he might not have a green light. As previously established, Oswaldo Cabrera is bound to Between Bopper Guaranteed so that could actually hurt his speed, and, even though he’s BBG, lineups are hard to figure this far in advance. I don’t even know if Judge will be a Yankee as I write this, though I expect it. If Cabrera sees 250 at-bats at the bottom of the order, it could hurt his counting stats, but might actually help his steals and overall fantasy value. If he’s sitting in the two-hole, then he could have his speed stifled. Limited pickoff moves or not. For 2022, I’ll give Oswaldo Cabrera projections of 77/19/64/.257/16 in 505 ABs with a chance for more speed and power.