Over the All-Star break, we'll be highlighting some of the players who've overperformed or underperformed their projections during the first half by imagining what we might write about them if the Baseball Prospectus annual were updated today.
Consider Cabrera the Marco Scutaro of his generation: he has a short stride, low hands, and a quick cut, he rarely chases outside the zone, and he even more rarely swings and misses. He shoots singles in all directions—only one major leaguer has a higher groundball rate than Cabrera this year—but he has sneaky pop in what Bud Black once called "a little power-packed body." He also has elite speed, and his shortstop defense has consistently been marked well by FRAA. Had he not been sidelined by a hamstring pull in mid-June, Cabrera would have set a career best for total bases before the All-Star break; even with the injury, he managed to match his career-best WARP mark. The late bloom isn't so suspicious if you consider Cabrera's unusual development path, as the Rule 5 pick was originally pushed into a full-time major-league job after playing just four games in High-A. —Sam Miller