The Marlins are promoting top pitching prospect Edward Cabrera to make his Major League debut Wednesday against the Nationals, per a club announcement (Twitter link, with video of Cabrera being informed he’s being called up to the Majors). Cabrera is already on the 40-man roster, so Miami will only need to make a corresponding 26-man roster move.
It’s been a monster season between Class-A Advanced, Double-A and Triple-A for the highly touted Cabrera, as evidenced by a combined 2.93 ERA and 36.9 percent strikeout rate in 61 1/3 innings. Cabrera was out earlier in the season due to an inflamed nerve in his right biceps — an injury that cost him the first two months of the season. He looks quite healthy now, having punched out 11 or more batters in three of his past four starts at the Triple-A level.
Cabrera, 23, is featured on virtually any ranking of the game’s top prospects one could find. He’s No. 30 on the midseason Top 100 over at MLB.com, No. 36 at The Athletic, No. 43 at FanGraphs and No. 74 at Baseball America. ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel didn’t rank Cabrera in his Top 50 but listed him as one of “20 others who were considered.” Specific rankings aside, the broad-reaching consensus is that Cabrera is one of the most promising young arms in the sport.
Cabrera draws praise for a heater that sits in the 93-97 mph range but has scraped triple digits as well. He generates more grounders than whiffs with the fastball but complements it with a potentially plus slider and an improving changeup. Listed at 6’5″ and 217 pounds, he has the prototypical size and frame that many look for in ideal pitching prospects.
Based on the timing of his promotion, Cabrera will be controlled by the Marlins through at least the 2027 season. He’s being promoted late enough in the year that Super Two status is long since a consideration, although with any prospect promotion, it’s also key to note that future optional assignments could alter one or both of those trajectories. If Cabrera is in the Majors for the rest of the season, he’d accumulate 40 days of MLB service time, meaning he’d need just 132 days in the Majors in 2022 to reach a full year of service and remain on that post-2027 course for free agency.
Cabrera is the latest in a growing line of promising young Marlins starters to reach the Majors. While Miami is dealing with a handful of injuries at present, it’s hard for other clubs not to envy their collection of formidable arms. Cabrera joins Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez, 2021 Rookie of the Year candidate Trevor Rogers, deadline acquisition Jesus Luzardo, Elieser Hernandez and currently injured top prospect Sixto Sanchez among the team’s current core of rotation options, and there are several others behind them. Most notably, last year’s No. 3 overall pick, right-hander Max Meyer, has been nothing short of dominant in Double-A this season.
The Marlins’ system is deeper in arms than in high-end bats, so it remains possible that GM Kim Ng and her staff will look to capitalize on that group of arms and turn some of it into controllable young bats via the offseason trade market. Catcher and center field, in particular, are areas where the Marlins find themselves with a long-term need.