2) Asdrubal Cabrera – New York Mets
The former Washington National found a home with the New York Mets and ranks second on our list, but how long yet until another rising star in the NL East (or from within New York’s own farm system) pushes Asdrubal Cabrera out of this spot?
It was an up and down year for Cabrera in 2016. The Mets short stop dealt with some injuries in spring training and then again down the stretch after the All-Star break. He also had a streaky bat, dealing with a summer slumps, before turning it around late in the season to become one of New York’s best hitters through September.
Overall at the plate, Cabrera amassed a .280/.336/.474 slash line with 146 hits, 62 RBI, 30 doubles, and 23 home runs. Across the board, these are some of his best offensive stats in many years.
Defensively Cabrera came in below average for shortstops with a -7 defensive runs saved (DRS) in 2016. In 135 games at shortstop for the Mets, Cabrera had seven errors, which game in at the lower half of NL shortstops and was in fact the lowest number among the other starting shortstops in the NL East (Danny Espinosa (WAS) 18; Erick Aybar (ATL) 13; Adeiny Hechavarria (MIA) 13; and Freddy Galvis (PHI) 8).
While Cabrera will begin the 2017 season as the everyday shortstop in New York, he certainly shouldn’t rest on his laurels. There is much hype coming from the Mets franchise about their shortstop prospect Amed Rosario. Rosario has put up impressive numbers in the minor leagues and could make his major league debut sometime this season.
Will Cabrera be able to fend off Rosario for one more year?