Daniel Cabrera, junior outfielder at Louisiana State University, stands 6’1″ and weighs in at 196 pounds. The outfielder will likely be the first LSU position player off the board in this summer’s draft, and he has the potential to be the first LSU position player taken in the first round since Alex Bregman went second overall in 2015. Cabrera had first round potential in 2017 but his commitment to LSU dropped him down to the 26th round. The San Diego Padres took a stab at the Louisiana native before he made the decision to go to school.
Cabrera is ranked as the 38th-best prospect according to MLB.com and is the eighth outfielder on the list. He was named to the Freshman All-American team along with the Freshman All-SEC team in his first season. Along with this he was a member of the Cape Cod League All-Star Team last summer.
The outfielder was awarded the No. 8 jersey which is given to the biggest leader in the LSU baseball program.
Cabrera is regarded as one of the best hitting prospects in the draft. His .345 batting average through 17 games this past season ranked second best on the LSU roster. Cabrera slashed .345/.500/.466 for a total OPS of .966 which was also good for second best on the team.
The lefty isn’t seen as a necessarily flashy player; he has a clean swing and will let the hits come to him. He doesn’t have a ton of raw power but his natural hitting ability will lead to home runs as he develops. His swing has been described as both simple and smooth which leads to his above average hit tool according to MLB.com.
Cabrera’s power was slotted at a 50 which is average. His power is still viewed in a somewhat positive light however, due to his plate vision and quick hands through the zone. Cabrera also led the LSU Tigers in walks this season with 14.
His defense is also viewed as a strength of his due to his strong arm from the corner outfield spots. He played left field in his first to seasons before moving to right in his junior year.
The biggest red flag with Cabrera is his lack of power at the plate, but this also doesn’t seem to be pushing teams away because of his ability to hit for average.
He also isn’t the fastest player in the draft; his run tool was rated at a 50, and despite going a perfect six-for-six on stolen base attempts, he certainly won’t light the base paths on fire. He runs a 6.6 60-yard dash, but scouts view him as an average runner nonetheless.
It is also worth noting that Cabrera sustained a wrist injury in his sophomore year, which effected his command of the strike zone that year.
Obviously this is not a one-to-one comparison because they play different positions, but in terms of ability at the plate Cabrera draws a lot of parallels with Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts is a player who barrels the ball a lot and hits a lot of line drives to the outfield. His simple and concise swing helps him put the ball in play without trying to do a lot.
The shortstop has averaged 41 doubles per 162 games in his six full seasons. Through the same time frame he has a batting average of .289 per 162 games. Bogaerts came into the league without much power, but his skill at the plate has led to an increase in homers over the years; hitting 33 homers last season.
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