The Cincinnati Reds handed out the biggest signing bonus they’ve handed out to a non-Cuban international signee back in January when they signed Ricardo Cabrera out of Venezuela. The then 17-year-old was considered one of the top prospects in the entire class, ranking as the #3 guy by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline.

This article was first sent out to those who support the site over on Patreon. Early access is one of the perks that you could get be joining up as a Patron and supporting the work done here at

To say that the first month of his career went as poorly as he could have imagined would probably be an understatement. Cabrera hit .120/.274/.200 in 17 games in June and he made 13 errors at shortstop.

When the calendar flipped over to July it seemed that his season flipped around, too. The Dominican Summer League season is short, and the team also lost out on two weeks of games between late July and the first week-and-a-half of August, but in the final 28 games of the season, Cabrera hit very well. In his 118 plate appearances he hit .320/.410/.470 with six doubles, three triples, and his first professional home run. He also improved his defense, going from an .809 fielding percentage in June to an .897 fielding percentage the rest of the way.

For all 2022 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Ricardo Cabrera Scouting Report

Position: Shortstop | B/T: R/R

Height: 5′ 11″ | Weight: 178 lbs | Acquired: International FA (2022)

Born: October 31, 2004

Hitting | An average to slightly above-average hit tool.

Power | He has average to above-average power potential.

Speed | Currently he’s an above-average runner.

Defense | He projects as an average defender.

Arm | He’s got an above-average arm.

Ricardo Cabrera was just 17-years-old during the 2022 season and as you would expect of a player that age, he had ups-and-downs and still has a lot of development to do.

What was a very good sign was how quick, and how well Cabrera was able to turn things around after such a tough start to the year. He showed a quick bat, power potential, and an ability to use the entire field. And he showed some gap-to-gap power in games during the season, too.

Defensively things were rough for Cabrera, but like his bat, things started improving as the season went along. He’s got plenty of arm strength for any spot on the field. Defensively he’s capable of playing shortstop today, but it’s possible that down the line he outgrows the spot and has to slide to second or third base.

The upside is there for an above-average big league shortstop who can do a little bit of everything on the field. His bat has the potential to play just fine at second or third base if he has to move there down the road. But there’s also a long way from having that potential as a now 18-year-old and that future that could be. He’s going to need to continue to develop in every aspect of the game, but the tools he showed during the season were there.

Ricardo Cabrera Spray Chart

Interesting Stat on Ricardo Cabrera

33% of his hits in 17 games during June were triples.

11 Responses

  1. kyblu50

    To Trade (3) Erroyo SS – (5) M Mclair SS – (6) B Williamson LHP – Reese Hinds ROF – Nick Senzel CF

    For Pitts Bryan Reynolds or Arizona Outfielders

    Sign w/incentives Johnny Cueto – Bradon Drury – Adam Duvall – JD Martinez or M. Brantly

    • Jonathan Linn

      @Kyblu50 – I would go for that as long as Reynolds could be signed to a 3 year extension.

      • Doug Gray

        They’re known and it doesn’t require nearly as much research to suggest their name.

  2. MBS

    I like that Cabrera was the #3 overall rated international prospect even more than I like him. If we continue to get big international signings, it will be a huge for the organization. The draft alone isn’t enough to field a good team. Even if we spend to the levels that most of us think they can or should (120M – 150m), the Reds still won’t be able to out spend the big market clubs. International signings will need to be the key.

  3. DaveCT

    I wonder if the DSL kids went home on that shutdown or stayed and had a mini-camp (“alternate site”)? Both could have been beneficial. Mom’s home cooking or some concentrated instruction. Either way, Cabrera showed some toughness and resilience, some of those intangibles that precede production, AKA data. Good sign.

  4. Tom

    A really crazy quote from the Enquirer:

    “According to one AL scout, “He’s (De La Cruz) the most athletic player I’ve ever seen. I could throw out some legendary names of athletes, but I’d rather not because I don’t want to put extra pressure on a kid. But I’ve never seen anybody even close with his athleticism to be quite honest.””

  5. Hoyce

    Would arroyo and McLain be enough for Corbin Carroll? I personally would sub india for arroyo if necessary Carroll gonna be elite player. And fills a huge hole for reds long term

  6. Mjc

    Tonight @ a poker game while looking at my phone ,i said to the other players im to obsessed with baseball im reading about minor leaguers @ reds minor leagues in the middle of December . They all looked at 1 guy laughing as he’s a scout for the dodgers,. Had a great conversation with him, he raved on the reds ss prospects saying there all legit .5-6 deep. What stood out was his praise of Matt McLain gave an Alex Bergman comp

    • MBS

      @Mjc, that’s really cool. It’s easy for us to get overly excited about our prospects, but to get an outsiders perspective is cool.

  7. Dan

    Cabrera hit .842 on balls he hit to LF?!? 16-for-19?

    What does that mean – that he basically never flew out to LF? Maybe I am misunderstanding what your numbers mean…