Fresh off half of a successful Double-A season before his 21st birthday (DOB: October 10, 1996), left-handed pitcher Genesis Cabrera remains one of the best-kept secrets moving quickly with the Tampa Bay Rays after being signed as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic. In 2017, split between High-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery, the lefty appeared in 25 games (24 starts), and threw 134.1 innings in total, finishing 9-9 with a 3.22 ERA and 111 strikeouts against 52 walks and a .240 opponents’ batting average. In Double-A before his 21st birthday, Cabrera whiffed 51 hitters in 64.2 innings; it was there with Montgomery that we saw the Rays’ young lefty this July.
Rail-thin with room to grow at 6’1″, 170 lbs., Genesis Cabrera boasts a deep arsenal with some interesting life to his stuff. Perhaps that’ll translate into the ability to remain a starting pitcher as he continues to rise to The Show, though command questions suggest the bullpen may be his home. Regardless, advanced pitchability at his age will help as the left-hander nears Tampa despite only being signed ahead of the 2014 season. Below, we have a full Genesis Cabrera scouting report, including tool grades, notes, game video, and projections on the young Tampa Bay Rays prospect.
Genesis Cabrera Scouting Report, Tampa Bay Rays — 2017
Dates observed in 2017: July 19
Genesis Cabrera Scouting Report — Tampa Bay Rays — 2017 Game Video
Genesis Cabrera Scouting Report — Notes & Analysis
Considering he just pitched a strong half-season as a 20-year-old in Double-A, Genesis Cabrera is going to sneak up on the Tampa Bay Rays over the next 18 months and may give them a workable left-handed option before too long. He’s only ever started through his professional career to date, and while he’s put up decent enough numbers there in context, there are command issues here that may leave him ticketed for the bullpen as he ages. I hypothesized as much when I saw him pitch this summer in Montgomery, and I still feel that way now; with some max effort in his delivery and a deep arsenal that still doesn’t have significant life in the rotation, I’d imagine his will can play up in short stints, and Cabrera would match up well as a bullpen arm with a few options to carve hitters.
Rotation or bullpen, though, Cabrera’s command must improve if he’s to continue moving as quickly as he has to this point. Without that true hammer breaking ball, and instead relying on a fickle changeup/slider combo that plays up from executing locations, command will matter for the Tampa Bay Rays prospect and he must start hitting the glove more often than he has to date (Cabrera had a concerning 3.8 BB/9 rate in Double-A). He’s still plenty young enough to figure that out, and he’ll almost certainly remain a rotation arm into 2018 as he gets a longer look at the upper minors, regardless of what happens in the future.
Genesis Cabrera Scouting Report — Future Projection
As young and generally advanced as he is, there’s no question the Tampa Bay Rays would love to have Genesis Cabrera remain a starter and develop into a long window in the big leagues. There’s a good shot he can do that, with a deep arsenal and a clear understanding of how to pitch; if he does reach the big leagues as a starter, he’d most likely fit as a back-end rotation arm absent a true wipeout pitch and the ability to miss bats at a higher rate. I’m skeptical he can remain in the rotation, though, and so I have him headed for the bullpen as a left-handed situational reliever potentially armed with the arsenal to work against right-handed hitters as needed, too. Most immediately, the Rays’ prospect will need to prove he can make adjustments against Double-A hitters to start 2018. Regardless of how his role progresses, Genesis Cabrera will likely reach the big leagues at some point in 2019 — as a 22-year-old with a nice, long window ahead of him.
Overall Future Potential (Future Value): Back-end rotation profile if he remains a starter; likely to fall in into middle relief/left-handed situational role (45)
MLB ETA: 2019
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