No. 3: Melky Cabrera, Chicago White Sox
Apr 9, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Chicago White Sox left fielderMelky Cabrera
(53) throws the ball after Kansas City Royals batterEric Hosmer
(not pictured) singled during the fourth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Melky Cabrera has bounced around the league since leaving the New York Yankees as a free agent after the 2009 season, and he has been wildly successful at every stop.
At 30 years old, Cabrera owns a .286/.338/.414 slash line throughout his 10-year major league career. He is good for 10-15 home runs per season. He hit .301 last season and, at the time of his season-ending hand injury, Cabrera was second in the league with 171 hits (behind only Jose Altuve).
Now a member of the Chicago White Sox, Cabrera brings an electric bat to the top of a lineup already consisting of 2014 AL Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu and offseason acquisition Adam LaRoche. Cabrera brings a significant upgrade to the left field position over Dayan Viciedo, who manned the position for the White Sox for most of last season. He can get on base and drive the ball into the gaps from both sides of the plate, and he is the perfect complement to Adam Eaton at the top of the White Sox lineup.
Defensively, Cabrera is a significant upgrade over Dayan Viciedo, who manned the position for the White Sox for much of last season. He has a powerful arm, responsible for 13 outfield assists in 2014, and should help improve Chicago’s team defense in 2015. He’s made just two errors in over 10 seasons, good for a .989 fielding percentage.
Cabrera is the only one-time All-Star Game MVP and World Series champion on this list and with another resurgence, much like the one he had in 2012, Cabrera could very easily find himself atop this list by season’s end.
Next: No. 2