As the 2012 season approaches, Cubbies Crib is profiling each and every member of the Cubs forty man roster. Today, we are talking about Alberto Cabrera.
How soon is too soon to give up on a prospect? That debate happens on a daily basis on prospect-focused websites for every team. Alberto Cabrera is a perfect case for that debate. Some are fed up with him and think the Cubs should just put him on waivers. Others can argue that he has trade value. And then there are those of us who have a hard time giving up on any pitcher who reached Triple A at the age of 22.
Cabrera is a big right handed pitcher with an assortment of good, not great, pitches. He is capable of picking up the strikeout, but he is also prone to surrendering too many walks and far too many hits. Hitters have maintained a decent average off him at nearly every level of the minors. Iowa was no exception. Pitching as both a starter and a reliever he wound up with a WHIP of nearly 2.000. He was also one of the youngest pitchers in the league.
Cabrera should spend a full season in Iowa. Unless he makes unexpected progress, he will not reach the majors as anything other than a September call up. I also think he will remain in the bullpen full time, and that might work to his advantage. As a reliever, he will only need two or three pitches. That should allow him to polish and refine those pitches. If he can add just one reliable breaking pitch to his 97 MPH fastball, he has a future as a middle reliever or a setup man.