2018 Pinstripe Preview: Jake Cave
Jake Cave has long been a name in the Yankees pipeline. He has spent a grueling seven years down in the Yankees’ farm system after being selected in the sixth round by the Bronx Bombers. He was ranked as high as the 17th prospect in the Yankee’s system by Baseball America in 2014, but unfortunately has fallen off that list in the subsequent years. Falling off this list and out of the minds of some fans, seems to have only motivated Cave, and his 2017 season was proof of this.
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As previously mentioned, Cave appeared to come into 2017 as a man on a mission. In 103 games, last year (split between Double and Triple-A) he hit .305 with 56 RBIs and 20 HRs, the 20 homers marked his career best. He also saw his best numbers in his Triple-A sampling of 72 games, where he hit .324 with 38 RBIs and 15 HRs. He was also red-hot in the month of July, hitting safely in 24 of the 26 games he played and batted .390 with 41 hits and a 15-game hit streak, all of which helped him earn International League Player of the Month. Along with his hitting, Cave is an excellent outfielder. Primarily playing as a Centerfielder, but with plenty of experience in both left and right field, he did not make an error in 2017. His most notable comparison is Brett Gardner, with his ability to make seemingly every play in his general vicinity, but with a slightly stronger throwing arm.
This upcoming season may be the one for the 25-year-old, however it may not be with his current club. The Yankees are absolutely stock-piled at the outfield position, and while Cave is closer to major league ready than some, there are only so many spots on the Yankees roster. Cave’s ability to play all three positions and his recently found power make him a huge trading chip maybe come the 2018 deadline. He will begin the year down in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and likely remain there most of the year. The only changes to his course would be a long-term injury to one of the Yankees outfielders, and a trade. At the end of the day, expect to see Jake Cave sooner rather than later, but be prepared to see this in a different uniform.
Article by: AJ Welch