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Asdrubal Cabrera (2B/3B/SS, WAS) - Week 22 Waiver Wire Pickups


BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues

OWNED IN: 23% of Yahoo! leagues

ANALYSIS: After not finding a trade partner for Asdrubal Cabrera at the end of July, Texas moved on from the soon-to-be free agent. Just three days after being released by the Rangers, the Nationals pounced and added him to their roster. This is Cabrera's 13th season in the MLB. Let's be honest and concede he is having the worst offensive year of his career with a paltry 89 wRC+. His current 1.3 WAR would be the worst in seasons he has played more than 100 games. In Washington, though, it looks like he has found the fountain of youth.

The outlook of Cabrera is very different if we look at his full season compared to his few days as a Nat. Overall (105 games), he's hit .246/.330/.417. For Washington (12 games) he's hitting .333/.426/.615. We should trust the former outcome more than the latter given the bigger sample size, but Cabrera is a hot addition for the stretch run of the season and the playoff push in almost every league.

Since August 6 (when he debuted with the Nationals), Cabrera has a 1.041 OPS. It ranks in the 88th percentile league-wide. He has a 158 wRC+ in such span. He is walking 14.9 percent of the time and has a really low 10.6 K%. All in all, his BB/K of 1.4 is fifth in the league since August 6. He has also driven 14 runs in while hitting two home runs in just 12 games. All of this fluctuating in the hitting order, although mostly in the heart (most of the times batting fifth) of the lineup.

From an advanced perspective, Cabrera's Statcast numbers say he's changed his plate discipline this season. He's swinging less than ever (45.8 percent Swing%) since 2010 yet having a contact rate over 80 percent. Per Fangraphs, he's underperforming against fastballs (-1.05 wFB/C) but has become a great changeup-hitter (3.52 wCH/C). Cabrera's GB/FB ratio has also moved down a bit since moving to Washington, sitting at a career-low 0.87. He is only hitting 11.4% of balls at soft contact.

Both Texas and Washington have hitting-friendly ballparks. Cabrera is expected to hit at least another four or five home runs during the final part of the season, add around 15 RBI and score more than 10 runs himself. Consider adding Cabrera if you have any hole in your infield given his versatility at three infield spots. There are not many players available for free to have in your roster and help you get into the playoffs as much as Cabrera can.


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