Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Daniel Cabrera is a Solid Pick at Number 62

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 26: A general view of Comerica Park during the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 26, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. The Twins defeated the Tigers 10-4. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 26: A general view of Comerica Park during the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 26, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. The Twins defeated the Tigers 10-4. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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Daniel Cabrera, a projected late first-rounder, shocks the world and falls to the Tigers at pick No. 62.

At the beginning of the second round, many believed the Detroit Tigers would select the LSU outfielder but instead they drafted Dillon Dingler, the catcher from the Ohio State University. Twenty four picks later Cabrera was still available and this time Al Avila did not hesitate to pull the trigger.

Cabrera, the second LSU player taken in the 2020 MLB Draft at the time, is considered one of the safest bats in the draft and the fact that he is a lefty is an excellent bonus. According to MLB Pipeline, Cabrera was the No. 38 overall prospect so drafting him at 62 overall is a potential steal for the Tigers organization.

Strengths

Cabrera can hit to all fields and his bat should translate seamlessly to the majors. He is also a high character guy who works extremely hard at his craft. Since his high school days at Parkview Baptist High in Baton Rouge, scouts have been infatuated with Cabrera’s easy swing, outstanding barrel control and his focused bath path through the zone. In 2017, Cabrera was selected as a high school senior by the San Diego Padres in the 26th round but he opted to go Louisiana State University instead.

During his time at LSU, Cabrera hit a solid .305/.392/.518 while playing above-average defense as a corner outfielder. In 2018, he was a named Freshman All-America and he earned Freshman All-SEC recognition. During his sophomore year, Cabrera hit 12 homeruns even though he was a plagued by a nagging wrist injury but he did bounce back. In a shortened 2020 season, he batted .345 with three doubles, two homers, 12 RBI, and six stolen bases. He was also chosen to wear the coveted No. 8 jersey.

If you are at all familiar with LSU baseball you know that the No. 8 is passed down only by tradition to the player that best represents supreme leadership and dedication to the program. As a junior, Cabrera joined former LSU Tiger, Alex Bregman, as No. 8.

Mason McRae from Prospects365 ($) reports Cabrera has above average hitting actions and well above average bat-to-ball skills. As a projection in the majors, Chris Welsh ($) optimistically believes Cabrera will hit .280 with 20 home runs and 10 stolen bases.

Weaknesses

Cabrera’s biggest weaknesses as a player is that he has limited power potential, average defensive ability, and lacks superior speed even though he is athletic. For these reasons it is more reasonable that he dropped all the way to the Competitive Balance Round B of the draft. Although his floor is high with his average, his ceiling seems severely limited and most believe he will never be an All-Star. During the wooden bat Cape Cod League in 2019, Cabrera hit only two homeruns in 115 at-bats. Also, some believe he will only be an average defensive player and projects to be only a decent left fielder. MLB Pipeline disagrees with Prospect Analyst Chris Welsh about his running abilities stating that “Cabrera is more of an average runner and not much of a threat to steal.” 

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