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.
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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.