Asdrubal Cabrera on a home run binge 

April, 13, 2011
I check out the ESPN Player Rater from time to time, even in mid-April, just to get a chuckle at some of the names at the top, but also because I can occasionally learn things. For example, I'm happy to see Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp first on the list entering Wednesday's game since I was one of his backers in March. But at the same time, it has been only two weeks. He's also joined in the top 20 by such players as Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata, Arizona Diamondbacks utility guy Willie Bloomquist and everyone's folk hero, Sam Fuld, which makes me reconsider if any of it matters. After all, guys with a lot of stolen bases tend to rank high on the Player Rater.

However, I did note that as of Tuesday afternoon, there was just one player in the Player Rater top 10 with the last name of Cabrera, and it wasn't Detroit Tigers stud Miguel Cabrera. Rather it was Cleveland Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Yeah, it's early, and later on Tuesday, Miggy drove in the winning run and Asdrubal was one of many Indians dominated by Dan Haren, so they ended up switched by Wednesday. Then again, since the top middle infielder on the Rater is the spunky Indian, and he is now up to 97.8 percent owned, I figured it was time to take a closer look at the "other" Cabrera (we'll leave out Orlando, Melky, Everth and golf's Angel Cabrera for now).

[+] EnlargeAsdrubal Cabrera
Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesAsdrubal Cabrera came into the season with 18 homers in 1,415 big league at-bats.
Cabrera was the 19th shortstop off the board in ESPN average live drafts, a 22nd-rounder overall. That seems low, considering we at ESPN Fantasy ranked him 14th at the position. Essentially, fantasy owners decided they'd rather have Ryan Theriot, J.J. Hardy and Miguel Tejada, among others, which is something I didn't agree with. Then again, I can't say I considered Cabrera anywhere close to a top-10 option, either. Cabrera has been a big leaguer for four seasons, and has a career high of six home runs and 17 stolen bases. His 2009 campaign featured those numbers, along with a .308 batting average and 81 runs scored, and I considered that about as good as it could get for him. Cabrera missed a few months last season because of a broken arm, but even when he was active, he didn't do much at the plate to warrant fantasy attention.