Alumni Sunday: Melky Cabrera

When he was just 20 years old, Melky Cabrera found himself in Bill Masse’s lineup every day for the Trenton Thunder.

Combine the location with the playing time he got, and it was a chance that Cabrera relished, hitting .275 with 10 home runs and 60 RBI during that 2005 season.

“I liked to play in Trenton,” Cabrera said. 

“It was good to get the opportunity to play every day in the minors.  I liked Trenton.”

Even at the Double-A level, being 20 years old is still considered very young.  Was it tough being that young and being at such a high level?

“A little bit,” he said.

Cabrera made his Yankees debut about a month short of his 21st birthday, and has played 280 games over the past two seasons in the Bronx.

One of his more memorable contests would have to be just a few weeks back, when he made two spectacular defensive plays and hit a solo home run to lead the Yankees to a season opening victory against the Blue Jays.

The hero of the last Opening Day to be held at Yankee Stadium, Cabrera was just happy to be on the field.

“I was very happy to have the opportunity to play Opening Day, it was unbelievable,” said Cabrera, telling me he was honored to be starting in center field.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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