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May 28, 2006

21 Club

Using the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, I decided to look at how some recent Yankees did at age 21, in terms of stats, compared to what Melky Cabrera has done already this season at the same age:


Right off the top, notice that it's been 30 years since a 21-year-old has played (for the Yankees) as much as Melky Cabrera has to date. That's impressive.

Secondly, Melky (again, to date) has had more success at the major league level than Jeter and Mattingly did at the same age.

Can Cabrera be as good as Derek or Donnie? Well, no one knows right now. He might. He could turn out like Grady Sizemore or Johnny Damon, for all we know. Or, his career could go the Claudell Washington or Chet Lemon route.

How about Dwight Evans-like? That would not be too shabby.

In any event, it is exciting to watch a home-grown kid like this get a chance at such a young age. It's like Cano last year, Jeter in 1996, Bernie Williams in 1991, and Mattingly in 1983. As crazy as this might sound, at this moment, Melky Cabrera might just be my favorite Yankee.

Of course, if he goes 8 for his next 75 ABs, things could always change.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 28, 2006 09:52 AM