Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Melky Cabrera...the second coming of Bernie Williams?

After 3 years of questions surrounding how the Melk man would fit into the Yankees' outfield scheme, it seems as if he's finally starting to find a niche...

Does it remind you of the trials and tribulations of a certain Yankee legend's first few years in the bigs?

It took him 6 years and an injury to Roberto Kelly, but Bernie Williams finally made his way to the majors in 1991. Once he got there, he paid his dues playing the role of reserve until he earned a starting job two years later with solid play.

Even when he earned his starting role, Steinbrenner was frustrated with the prospect because he didn't fit any set mold of player. He was fast, but didn't steal bases...he could hit for average, but was not really a home run hitter. Bernie had his breakout season in '95 and never really looked back until the day his career was over. 5 All-Star appearances, 4 Gold Gloves and 80 postseason RBI's later, Bernie is considered one of the best outfielders the Yanks have ever had.

Sound familiar?

Cabrera got his break in 06' when Matsui went down and would remain a 4th outfielder into the 2007 season until Giambi went down with an injury. It was then Melky started to produce and would begin to be a fixture in the lineup. Remember back when Gagne wasn't in the Can-Am league? He was offered to the Yanks for Cabrera, but Cashman turned it down seeing the kid's potential.

In 2008, the rumors about Melky began to fly as his name was being tossed around in the Johan trade situation (glad it worked out well for the Mets) and his inconsistency led to a demotion that August...

However, he has been solid this season with many timely hits and became the first Yankee since '95 to hit for the cycle.

If you look at the numbers of each man's first 4 years in the bigs...they're rediculously similar...

Bernie....270 AVG...32HR...185RBI...42SB

Keep in mind...Melky is still in his 4th year....

Time will tell, but it appears to me that if history has a way of repeating itself...the Melk man will be delivering for the Yankees for many years to come...

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