Everth Cabrera - .254 AVG, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 25 R, 18 SB, .341 OBP, .354 SLG
Everth Cabrera may not have been the sexiest fantasy option on draft day, but he may have been the smartest option. In 2012, Cabrera led the National League in steals as he swiped 44 bags in 48 attempts (91.67%). This surprises many a fan for a couple of reasons. One, he plays in San Diego and most of us rarely get to see the Padres play. Two, he is not the most noticeable base stealer. He does not have a long history of wooing fans with speed like Michael Bourn. Cabrera is not 5 foot 5 like Jose Altuve, nor will he ever hit 30 home runs to accompany his speed like Mike Trout. Everth Cabrera is a 26-year-old, switch-hitting shortstop who does, without praise, what he is supposed to do well.
Cabrera is not this multi-dimensional five-tool player. He will typically hit somewhere around .250. He won't score a ton of runs because of the Padres weak lineup and he certainly won't hit for power in Petco Park. He currently has 2 home runs in 46 games, which matches his 2012 total when he played 115 games. Cabrera really is not your prototypical leadoff hitter either, as he Ks often (24.5% last season) and does not have a sky high OBP.
We all know his true fantasy value is due to his speed. This season, he leads the entire league with 18 steals in 22 tries. I am the type of fantasy owner who does not like to draft the speedy player early. I annually pass on the Bourn, Gardner, and the Reyes type players. Sure these guys will score way more runs than Cabrera, but I like to draft power hitting, run producing beasts early on. Cabrera is, therefore, a perfect fantasy player for owners like me. Cabrera's average draft position was 231st, which typically translates into a round somewhere in the 20's. He plays the shallow position of shortstop and is a very suitable middle infield option. Here is a list of other speedy players' ADP in 2013:
Jose Reyes: 24
Michael Bourn: 73
Ben Revere: 154
Brett Gardner: 180
Coco Crisp: 193
The bottom line is that Everth Cabrera was a sneaky option on draft day. Nobody really groups him into the elite class of current base stealers, but I think that he should begin to creep into the conversation. If your fantasy team is struggling in the steals category, trading for Cabrera can be of great help. You won't have to give up much to get him, but Everth Cabrera can take a team of slowpokes up the stolen base ladder.