Asdrubal Cabrera's production last season at shortstop would be considered excellent in most years. But Cabrera's solid 2016 got lost in the shuffle with so many young, flashy up-and-comers manning the position. On the other hand, if Cabrera can match or even approach last season's production, he's a great consolation prize for those opting to fade middle infield. Can he do it? Almost all of Cabrera's underlying metrics were in line with historical levels. The primary driving force for the power surge was a 14 percent HR/FB, the highest of his career, well above his nine percent average. This was supported by a big leap in hard-hit rate, checking in at 37 percent, above his 30 percent career norm. Chances are Cabrera will drop below twenty homers though he has eclipsed the mark twice in six years so it's not certain.
Cabrera went 2-for-2 with a walk and three runs in Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Cardinals. The Mets' offense exploded against Adam Wainwright and Luke Weaver in this one, putting up 14 runs in the first three innings, and Cabrera was able to circle the bases every time he came to the plate. He's enjoying the best spring training of his career, slashing .355/.412/.710 with three home runs in 31 at-bats.
Cabrera went 2-for-3 with a solo home run, his third shot of the spring, in Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Marlins. The Mets continue to launch homers like they're playing in the thin desert air of the Cactus League, and three-quarters of their starting infield went yard in this one. Cabrera's now hitting .304/.360/.739 through 23 spring at-bats and appears more than ready for Opening Day.
Cabrera went 1-for-3 in Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Astros, leading off with a home run off Joe Musgrove for his first hit of the spring. He isn't likely to be the leadoff hitter come Opening Day, now that Jose Reyes seems set to replace David Wright (shoulder) at third base, but Cabrera should still have a prime spot in the batting order in 2017 after posting a career-high .810 OPS last season.
Cabrera will get consideration as the Mets' leadoff hitter this season on days when Jose Reyes isn't in the lineup, The New York Post reports. He primarily hit second for the Mets last season, but in his career Cabrera has hit .286/.321/.410 in 315 at-bats from the top of the order. With Reyes stuck in a super-utility role, the team will need someone else to hit leadoff in their standard starting eight, and if Cabrera can maintain the .336 OBP he posted in 2016, he could prove to be the best man for the job, potentially giving him a few more run-scoring opportunities but costing him some RBI when he hits behind the pitcher.
Cabrera says he is completely healthy heading into spring training after dealing with a strained patellar tendon last season, Matt Ehalt of The Record reports. Cabrera also said he would decline a WBC invitation from Venezuela if asked to fill in for the injured Freddy Galvis. The veteran infielder had a productive first year with the Mets, batting .280 and posting an OPS of .810. Now healthy and free to spend the entirety of spring training with the Mets, expect continued consistency from the 31-year-old in 2017.