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Oswaldo Cabrera’s Journey to Yankee Stadium

Image Credit: Daniel Budasoff/Latino Sports

Bronx, NY- Oswaldo Cabrera received a phone call late Tuesday evening, one that changed his life forever. A phone call informing him to begin packing his bags for the Bronx. At that moment, Cabrera’s big league career took off. He arrived at the Yankees clubhouse Wednesday afternoon prepared for the New York spotlights. 

“Just enjoying the moment, having fun right here and focusing in on the game,” said Cabrera leading up to his MLB debut in the Bronx.

So who is Oswaldo Cabrera, you may ask? A 23-year-old from Guarenas, Venezuela ingrained in the sport, he grew up falling in love with. The Yankees signed him back in 2015 for a total of $100,000 at the age of 16. Each year from there, Cabrera improved his game. He’s shaped up into becoming the next homegrown Yankees standout. 

The rookie was at ease during pregame warmups, as if he’d been playing in the Bronx for several seasons. His energy and well-built composure glowed throughout batting practice. With less than two hours to first pitch against Tampa Bay, the Latino Sports team approached Cabrera to discuss the thrill of his MLB career about to take off. 

From growing up in Venezuela to playing at Yankee Stadium is a scene out of a movie for any ballplayer. “That’s a dream in my mind. It’s like I’m working on it every time to do that,” said Cabrera. “It’s a dream that you’re working for, but you never know that you’re going to be in this moment. And right now I’m here and I’m glad.”

Image Credit: Daniel Budasoff/Latino Sports

On the field, Cabrera is a versatile switch-hitter who displays tremendous defense and speed on the bases. In 47 games played at Triple-A this season, Cabrera compiled a .262 batting average with eight HR, 29 RBI, 19 walks, and 10 stolen bases. He is currently ranked as the 14th top prospect within the Yankees organization. 

“I’m just going to try to do what I know how to do. Just play and keep doing the same,” Cabrera stated. 

In a revolving door of movement within the Yankees farm system, Cabrera played at various levels this season. He saw time in Rookie ball, Single A, with the majority being in Triple-A before his eventual call-up to the big leagues. What stood out most was Cabrera’s rhythm at the plate. A dual threat in the batter’s box. Nonetheless, he’s proven to be much more comfortable batting from the left side facing right-handed pitching. 

Oswaldo Cabrera – 2022 Minor League Offensive Splits

Left Handed vs. RHP (160 Plate Appearances)

.284/.380/.537 with 7 HR, 25 RBI, 38 Hits, 7 Doubles 

Right Handed vs. LHP (66 Plate Appearances)

.238/.273/.429 with 2 HR, 7 RBI, 15 Hits, 6 Doubles 

Cabrera could be that hidden gem in providing a spark to this current Yankees offense. A Bronx lineup that’s struggling on all cylinders with a .208 team batting average in their last 13 games, which ranks 29th in MLB. The Bronx Bombers have gone for a 3-10 record in this stretch. 

On the other side, let’s just say the rookie fits the defensive blend at a premium. Since 2016, when his professional career began, Cabrera has played five separate positions in the field (3B, SS, 2B, RF, LF). His primary positions are third base and second base, although the statistics may speak differently. 

Oswaldo Cabrera – Minor League Career with Defensive Alignments – 554 games played

234 games at 2B, 175 games at SS, 141 games at 3B, 4 games at LF/RF 

On Wednesday night, the dream came true with Cabrera’s parents in attendance to cherish the moment. #95 in pinstripes took the field. Cabrera started at third base and batted sixth in the Yankees lineup. He received a welcoming ovation from the bleacher creatures located in right field during the top of the 1st inning. 

In the bottom half of the second inning, Cabrera stepped into the batter’s box for his first at-bat in the pros. On a 2-0 cutter from Rays starter Corey Kluber, Cabrera made great contact, just missing out on an HR to the short porch in right field. He finished his night 0-4 with two strikeouts. 

“I just tried to focus on the game,” said Cabrera. “I just tried breathing in the moments of pressure during the game.” 

To add to the magical night, the Yankees were saved by extra inning heroics from Josh Donaldson. Donaldson delivered an opposite field grand slam in the 10th inning marking the Yankees 13th walk-off victory of the season. New York defeated Tampa Bay 8-7 in the series finale.

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Robert Rizzo writes for Latino Sports

Follow on Twitter: @RobertRiz994

Email: RobertRiz994@gmail.com

Watch Sports with Rich live on Tuesday Nights at 8pm EST on The SLG Network/Youtube with host Rich Mancuso and cohost Robert Rizzo.

Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify under The SLG Network.

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