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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

Fastball (60)
Plenty of life to arm-side, difficult to control at points with variable mechanics and release point. When he stays on top, good depth in the zone with hard tail and some sink to arm-side. Difficult pitch to square up, especially for LHH. Can dial up velocity to low-90s with ease; ball explodes out of hand with little extra effort; likely a few more MPH here as he grows into his body. Command improvements imperative; tendency for too many fastballs to get away arm-side with little idea of how to manipulate consistently in zone; arm-side tail will flatten out when up in the zone, staying particularly hittable. Velocity: 88-92, T 93.

Curveball (40)
Very short, very tight break; generally works 11-to-5 with little understanding of how to get it to both sides of the plate. Insignificant hump; struggles to command the pitch with feel. Definitely not a wipeout pitch; almost more like a slider with slightly more depth, but lacks late, hard bite. Room to improve with some time to do it, but hard imagining this as an above-average hook. Velocity: 73-74, T 75.

Slider (50)
Tight, late and hard movement 10-to-4 to glove side. Completely horizontal cut at times with little depth, but good tilt when on top and out front with release. Enough velocity to get inside and under RHH hands, will use the pitch against both. Not always enough movement to miss barrels; must be well-commanded to survive, but enough velocity to give some margin of error. Velocity: 83-84, T 85.

Changeup (50)
Good downward plane with tumble and arm-side fade. Arm action sells pitch with good speed differential from fastball; arguably best off-speed pitch right now. Shows advanced understanding of how/when to use it, especially against RHH. Feel for fade and command profile should improve in time. Velocity: 80-81, T 82.

Control/Command (50/45)
Both command and control are below average for me right now, with command noticeably lacking in both fastball and off-speed stuff. Effectively wild with enough life and deep arsenal to survive, but must improve strike-throwing consistency now in the upper minors. Mechanical consistency will help that out — release points still variable, too many non-competitive pitches. Off-speed command stuff could play up by dropping curveball, improving slider/change in short stint work.

High three-quarters, nearly overhand release; some max effort in his delivery with decently hard arm whip-back after follow-through. Works from third base side of the rubber; lands closed to the plate and throws across his body, accounting for mild deception and some added life (and command issues). Holds runners very well and comfortable with runners on base; will hold long sets to freeze baserunners and is still quick with explosion and athleticism to the plate.

Young for the level at last few stops; moved quickly through the system and been able to stay in the rotation thus far, good sign of advanced understanding of how to pitch and execute, even despite average or below-average stuff across the board. Good composure; no urgency and stays relaxed on the mound, especially with baserunner traffic. Very good athlete with ample room to grow into his body and see subsequent velocity/stuff gains through development.

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

Did you like this Genesis Cabrera scouting report? Get more prospects here:

Los Angeles Dodgers RHP Luis Pasen — CLICK HERE

Tampa Bay Rays LHP Kyle Bird — CLICK HERE

Ventura College SS Rudy Aguilar — CLICK HERE

St. Louis Cardinals SS Delvin Perez — CLICK HERE

Chicago White Sox RHP Bryan Saucedo — CLICK HERE


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Bobby DeMuro

Bobby DeMuro is the founder of Baseball Census. A former college and independent league baseball player, he now watches more than 200 games a year working full time for the site. You can follow him on Twitter @BobbyDeMuro for more.

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