July 2015: Cabrera signed with the Marlins, out of the D.R., via scouts Albert Gonzalez, Sandy Nin and Domingo Ortega. His bonus was $100,000.
In 2017, 2018, and 2019, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Edward as the 7th-best prospect in the Marlins' organization.
In 2020, Cabrera moved up to 4th-best Marlins' prospect. And he was at #5 in 2021. But he was back at #4 in the spring of 2022.
2019 Season: The Marlins system has improved not only because of trades and recent drafts, but because of the development of players like Cabrera, who signed back in 2015. He’s been handled carefully workload-wise, but he managed to pitch his way to Double-A at age 21, posting a 2.23 combined ERA to go along with a .190 BAA and 10.8 K/9 rate (2.9 BB/9).
2021 Season: Edward Cabrera (Marlins No. 2, MLB No. 30): 3-4, 2.93 ERA, 92 strikeouts in 61.1 innings in MiLB; 0-2, 5.31 ERA, 16 strikeouts in 20.1 innings in MLB.
After being sidelined early with biceps nerve inflammation, Cabrera finally made his long-awaited MLB debut after a strong showing in the minors. He’s faced some hiccups so far in the big leagues, pitching four innings or fewer in each of his last four starts. But Cabrera has the stuff to be a key piece in the Marlins’ rotation.
- 2022 Season: Despite a bevy of injuries in 2022, Cabrera tossed a career-high 71 2/3 innings in the Majors and finished the season 6-4 (14 starts) with a 3.01 ERA. Boasting a 96 mph changeup, the former Top 100 prospect showed promise that led pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. to liken Cabrera’s mentality to that of NL Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara.
Cabrera's final outing of 2022 ended early due to a right ankle sprain, but before exiting he pitched three perfect innings vs. the Brewers. Once Cabrera nails down his command, there’s a good chance he’ll be just what the Marlins need to help round out their rotation. (Paige Leckie - MLB.com - Dec 26, 2022)
|DOB:||4/13/1998||Agent:||Republik Sport agency|
|Birth City:||Santiago, D.R.|
|Draft:||2015 - Marlins - Free agent - Out of D.R.|
Cabrera has a 94-101 mph FASTBALL with late sinking life. He can run or cut it in on righthanded hitters, earning a 70 grade. In 2021 he added a SLIDER that features short, sweeping break in the upper-80s and grades 50. He also has good tilt and depth on a 60 grade CURVEBALL. His 88-90 mph CHANGEUP has become 50 grade; it has late fade life away from lefties and is deceptive because of the conviction with which it is thrown.
Edward has plenty of upside to pitch in the middle of a rotation, but he needs to sharpen his command and fringe-average control to reach that ceiling. (Josh Norris - Baseball America Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2022)
Cabrera's best weapon is a fastball that climbs into triple digits, with its heavy life and the downhill plane he creates with his 6-foot-4 frame leading to a lot of weak groundball contact. He improved the reliability of his slider in 2019, continuing to deal with increased bite. He also maintained more consistent velocity separation between his heater and changeup, which has become a solid third pitch.
Cabrera has learned that he doesn't need to overthrow to generate premium stuff, though he'll still lapse on occasion. Now that he's throwing more strikes and doing a better job of locating his pitches within the zone, he has erased talk that he might land in the bullpen. Instead, he and Sánchez should pitch at the front of Miami's rotation for much of this decade. (Spring 2021)
- 2022 Pitch Usage/Avg. Velo: Change 31.2% - 92.5 mph; Fastball 20.3% - 96 mph; Curve 20.6% - 84 mph; Slider 15.6% - 87 mph; Sinker 12.4% - 96 mph.
2015 Season: Cabrera initially burst onto the scene posting a 4.21 ERA in Rookie Ball with the GCL Marlins as an 18-year-old.
Edward induces a lot of ground balls and prevents batters from making hard contact in the air. He must improve his control, but he has shown an improved, repeatable delivery.
Cabrera has a high ceiling that could make him anywhere from a No. 2 to No. 4 starter, depending on how he commands his secondary pitches. (Andre Fernandez - Spring, 2021)
The 2017 season was for straightening out his mechanics. For example, Edward needed more extension out front.
Cabrera has above-average control in light of how hard he throws! In 2019, he lowered his walks per nine innings from 3.8 in 2018 to 2.8. There’s still a bit of refinement to come, with some scouts wanting to see more consistency in the rhythm and repetition of his delivery to help him take the next step.
Edward exhibits impressive poise on the mound.
More than one talent evaluator used Francis Martes, hot Astros prospect and former Marlin, in comparison to Cabrera.
Cabrera's ceiling is no lower than that of a mid-rotation starter, though he could conceivably end up as a power reliever.
2018 Season: Spending the entire season in High-A, Cabrera would pitch the largest single-season sample size of his young career where he posted a 4.22 ERA across 22 starts.
May 17, 2019: The hard-throwing righty cruised through the first five frames, racking up all nine of his strikeouts and allowing only one hit. But he failed to record an out in the sixth inning and departed the game after allowing three straight hits.
It was the first time Cabrera had been scored upon in the last 28 innings, dating back to the first inning of his season debut. Suffice it to say the 21-year-old has been excellent so far this season, pitching to a 2.17 ERA with 42 strikeouts and nine walks over 29 innings in the Florida State League.
2019 Season: Cabrera had reached triple digits with his fastball in past years, but in 2019 he improved his secondary pitches and command, going 9-4 with a 2.23 ERA, 116 strikeouts and a .190 opponent average in 96.2 innings between high Class A and Double-A.
2020 Season: Cabrera had a shot at cracking the Majors, but a shoulder injury kept him on the shelf. In 2019, Cabrera showed some dominant potential, sporting a 2.23 ERA and 10.8 K/9 between High-A and Double-A. Along with Max Meyer, Cabrera is among the more talented Miami pitching prospects. He is definitely in the mix for the 5th starter job. But between the shoulder injury and the innings-conscious Marlins, it may be a while before we see Cabrera in an extended capacity.
Aug 25, 2021: The Marlins announced MLB Pipeline's No. 30 overall prospect Edward Cabrera will make his Major League debut against the Nationals at loanDepot park.
The 23-year-old righthander compiled a 2.93 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in 13 starts across three Minor League levels in 2021, as he worked back from an inflamed nerve in his right biceps. Cabrera arrived at Spring Training with that injury, and his season didn't begin until June 6 at Low-A Jupiter. In six starts for Triple-A Jacksonville, Cabrera struck out 48 batters in 29.1 innings, fanning at least 11 in three of the outings. He last appeared in a game at Durham. According to MLB Pipeline, Cabrera's best weapon is a fastball that sits at 93-97 mph and climbs into triple digits, with heavy life and a downhill plane he creates with his 6-foot-5 frame. Cabrera induces a lot of weak ground-ball contact. His slider improved during his last full season in 2019, as it ranged from 82-85 mph with increased bite. Cabrera also maintained more consistent velocity separation between his heater and changeup.
Scouting grades: Fastball-65 Slider-60 Changeup-55 Control-50 Overall-55
Cabrera, who went unsigned when first eligible in 2014 out of the Dominican Republic, turned pro for $100,000 a year later. He is Miami's highest-ranking pitching prospect in a loaded system that had the most top 100 prospects on MLB Pipeline's midseason list.
"Pitching is definitely our strength, starting pitching has been our strength," director of Minor League operations Geoff DeGroot told MLB.com. "I think we really do have waves of starting pitching."
The flamethrowing Cabrera likely would've debuted in 2020 had it not been for minor shoulder soreness; he even traveled with the Marlins during the club's postseason run. Asked last week whether the organization would prefer for Cabrera to finish his season in the Minors or in the Majors, general manager Kim Ng said the righthander would be one of the names in consideration for a callup. Earlier in August, Ng had this to say:
"He's been good. Hopefully we get to see him at some point. No guarantees, but if he continues on that track, hopefully we'll get to see him."
The Marlins have dealt with a multitude of injuries to their starting pitchers on the 40-man roster, which has led to a franchise record 17 pitchers receiving a start in 2021. The second half has been particularly tricky, with right-hander Pablo López sidelined with a right rotator cuff strain and All-Star Trevor Rogers on the restricted list (previously on family medical emergency and bereavement lists). (CD Nicola - MLB.com - Aug 23, 2021)
MLB debut (Aug 25, 2021): The first time Edward dreamt of being a big leaguer was a decade ago, when he began playing baseball in Santiago, Dominican Republic. That dream became a reality on August 25, 2021, at loanDepot park.
Cabrera recorded a quality start in his highly anticipated debut, and Jorge Alfaro knocked the walk-off RBI single in the 10th inning of the 4-3 comeback win over the Nationals.
“I woke up this morning with a lot of confidence,” Cabrera said. “I had in my mind just like, 'You're here. Let's see what's going to happen now. God willing, everything will come out correctly.' And that's what happened. But I've got to be honest. Last night I was thinking a lot about the dream.”
The flamethrowing Cabrera cruised through six innings at just 57 pitches (38 strikes) after setting the tone with a 97.7 mph four-seamer to open his MLB career, then capping a perfect first on eight pitches—all strikes. He didn’t permit a hit until Luis García’s leadoff single in the third, and he recorded his first strikeout on an 83.4 mph curveball that froze Riley Adams. On a day filled with many memories, Cabrera said he will remember that moment years from now. (DeNicola - mlb.com - 8/26/2021)
More often than not, Cabrera utilized the defense behind him. Bryan De La Cruz made a leaping catch against the left-center-field wall to end the third and Cabrera induced three double plays, including ones to finish off the fifth and sixth.
But Cabrera showed signs of losing his command, walking three of the final eight batters he faced. He surrendered back-to-back homers to Josh Bell and Yadiel Hernandez—on a pair of elevated changeups—that quickly erased a 2-0 Marlins lead. Alfaro told manager Don Mattingly, who brought out the hook following Carter Kieboom’s free pass, that the pitch was flattening out a bit—a clear sign of fatigue.
It was a showcase of top 100 prospects: Cabrera (No. 30 overall) dueled with Josiah Gray (No. 54), who struck out seven and allowed two runs in six frames.
“It was cool,” Gray said. “Obviously I know a little about Edward Cabrera just from playing MLB The Show, and he has a really good card in The Show. But I know he’s one of their top pitching guys, along with all the other guys they have, so I was really excited for the matchup and I thought he went out and threw the ball as well as he could, and it was really impressive to watch him.”
Regardless of the way it ended, what stood out most to Mattingly and Alfaro was Cabrera’s composure on the mound—well beyond his 23 years. He attacked the zone and didn’t seem fazed by the bigger stage.
This is a pitcher who has had hype surrounding him for a while. Before the game, pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. admitted being nervous on his behalf. After succeeding in the Minors, it was time for the next test: seeing how Cabrera would fare at the highest level.
“I think he's one of the guys who is not afraid of anything,” Alfaro said. “He doesn't care who steps in the box. He goes out to compete, to go out to make his pitches.”
Cabrera’s outing offered plenty of promise. The last time there was this much excitement for a highly touted prospect in Miami’s now third-ranked system, Sixto Sánchez took the mound on Aug. 22, 2020, in a 5-3 win in Washington. That came in the thick of a postseason chase, while it marked a matchup of rebuilding clubs looking to see what pieces can be relied upon moving forward.
Cabrera and Sánchez both hail from the Dominican Republic, have matching baseball tattoos and consider each other brothers. The Marlins hope they will front the team's rotation and lead them to perennial contention.
Sánchez entered 2021 as the organization's top prospect and was considered a strong candidate for the NL Rookie of the Year. But he never pitched this season, undergoing shoulder surgery in July. Cabrera arrived at Spring Training with an inflamed nerve in his right biceps, and he didn’t appear in a game until June. Had it not been for minor shoulder soreness, he likely would have reached The Show in 2020, just like Sánchez.
“I think the guys feel it too when the young guys come up, like Sixto when he came up, it was the same feeling,” Mattingly said. “They know this guy, so this is not some guy we've never seen. They've been in Spring Training with him, they see his stuff, they know it's real. When you see that as a player coming up, it's exciting for you, and I think everyone understands that the start of a career, and that first outing, and that first game you play. So they all understand that, and I think it's exciting for everyone.” (CD Nicola - MLB.com - Aug 26, 2021)
Aug 31, 2021: There have been several themes in the 23-year-old righthander’s two MLB starts: three homers, all on the changeup; five double plays; four strikeouts through 40 total batters faced; efficiency with 57 pitches over his first six innings in his MLB debut and 53 through four.
According to MLB Pipeline, Cabrera has found more consistent velocity separation between his heater and changeup. He turned to the changeup the most (37.7%). When Cabrera executes the pitch, it leads to weak contact. When he doesn’t, outcomes like the Conforto homer happen.
“That's really where Edward probably has gotten hurt so far,” Mattingly said. “When he does get hurt, he throws that power change a lot like Sandy [Alcantara] and Pablo [López]. And when that pitch stays up, it's really more of a flat fastball. It's taking 4-5-6 mph off of it, kind of sits right into the bat speed. So that's a pitch that all those guys want to have depth with it, they want it to go down, they want it to look like fastballs and end up going down late. I think the ones that Edward throws and stays up are always going to be dangerous if they're up in the zone.” (CD Nicola - MLB.com - Sept 1, 2021)
Cabrera offers plenty of upside, according to his Double-A Pensacola pitching coach Tim Horton.
“He’s got a lot of horsepower,” Horton said of Cabrera in July 2021. “He just needs a bit more fastball command, especially to his glove side.”
2021 Season: Still holding “prospect” status, Cabrera made his highly anticipated MLB debut over the final month of the 2021 season where he made seven starts posting a 5.81 ERA. Prior to debuting, the righthander made 13 starts across three minor league levels this season where he posted a combined 2.93 ERA with 25 walks and 92 strikeouts.
Despite some struggles at times, the electric right-hander gave Marlins’ fans a glimpse of the future during the month of September, and just how-good Cabrera’s fastball and slider truly-are. Yes, the 23-year-old will certainly struggle at-times as he gets adjusted to Major League hitters full-time, but Cabrera should, be a focal-point of the Marlins starting rotation next season. (Matt Melton - Oct. 2021)
2022: Marlin's Top International Prospect: Edward Cabrera, RHP, Dominican Republic (No. 2, MLB No. 29).
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, Cabrera averaged 97 mph with his four-seam fastball in seven big league starts last year and complemented his heater with a mid-80s slider and developing changeup. While he got roughed up for a 5.81 ERA with the Marlins, he compiled a 2.93 mark with 92 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings at three stops in the Minors. (Callis, Boor Dykstra - MLB.com - Jan 14, 2022)
Cabrera shows off new pitch March 28, 2022: This spring, Cabrera is focused on developing better control of his slider and his sinker, which he has yet to throw in the Majors, but he is working on adding to what is already a four-pitch arsenal. In 2021, Cabrera leaned most heavily on his four-seamer (38.8%), followed by his changeup (23.4%) and his slider (21.8%). Though he threw his curveball for just 16% of his pitches last season, it garnered the second-highest strikeout rate (29.4%), just behind his slider (31.3%).
By adding a second fastball to his arsenal (the sinker), Cabrera stands to benefit even more from his offspeed pitches. On Monday, Cabrera liked the feel of both his slider and his sinker, a sign his hard work is paying off.
“It feels good when you have that type of success,” Cabrera said. “The work I've been doing during practice on the back fields -- I took it to the field right here. It came out right.” (C King - MLB.com - March 28, 2022)
June 1, 2022: Cabrera's 96 mph Change-up strikeout was the hardest CH strikeout ever recorded according to Baseball Savant.
The development of Edward Cabrera’s changeup
Cabrera throws a changeup that’s unlike any other in baseball history. Its peak velocity of 96 MPH is the fastest of the pitch-tracking era, even exceeding the 2022 league average for fastball velo. It’s a ridiculous statistic, but baseball fans know that velocity does not always correlate with success.
That was the case for Cabrera back in 2021: his changeup was absolutely torched by opposing batters during his debut campaign with the Marlins. He allowed a .455 BA and a 1.091 SLG in at-bats ending with a changeup. RV/100, or run value per 100 pitches, is a rate stat that approximates the value of a individual pitch type in a pitcher’s repertoire. Per RV/100, Cabrera’s changeup was the second worst pitch in ALL OF BASEBALL (min. 100 pitches thrown). It was, in no uncertain terms, completely ineffective.
And then? Something changed.
Cabrera’s 2022 Changeup
Fast forward a year. It’s Cabrera’s sophomore season, and he’s throwing his changeup 10% more often than he previously did. It’s his most-used pitch, in fact, and it’s phenomenal. His RV/100 has gone from 6.6 in 2021, all the way down to –2.6 this past season. That .455 BA/1.091 SLG line has been improved to .172 BA/.269 SLG. He’s gone from making hitters look like Barry Bonds to making them look like DFA candidates.
What sort of magic is Marlins pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. working here? These are limited sample sizes, but a change in results that massive must be the result of something. Cabrera’s changeup drew mixed reviews when he was a prospect coming up through the Marlins system, yet it’s now ranked as one of the best weapons at the highest level of the sport. What was the fix?
A remarkable 21% of Cabrera’s total pitches in 2022 were changeups out of the zone. He threw 263 of them, resulting in only three total hits, all of them driven into the ground. With a .073 BA against, a 40% whiff rate, and a 25.4 K% on changeups out of the zone, Cabrera has found his go-to pitch. (Wyatt_VanDyke Nov 19, 2022)
July 29-August 16, 2018: Cabrera was on the DL.
August 1-26, 2019: Edward was on the IL.
2020: Cabrera was a candidate to make his major league debut in 2020 but dealt with arm and back injuries that halted a potential callup.
Feb 19, 2021: The Marlins announced that Edward Cabrera has been diagnosed with an inflamed nerve in his right biceps. MLB Pipeline's No. 68 overall prospect did report to Jupiter, Fla., for Spring Training, but he is not participating in throwing activities at this time. Marlins manager Don Mattingly said the club found out about the discomfort in the winter when Cabrera was in the Dominican Republic.
Oct 1-5, 2021: Edward was on the IL with right middle finger blister.
April 10, 2022: - Edward Cabrera, the Marlins' No. 2 prospect and MLB Pipeline's No. 34 overall prospect, has been placed on the seven-day Minor League injured list with biceps fatigue..
"He's going to start throwing again, but we just shut him down for a couple days," general manager Kim Ng said. "Just to check him out, make sure he's all right. So he's going to start progressing again.
April 14, 2022; Cabrera threw a 20-pitch bullpen session in Jupiter, Fla. Cabrera also had a biceps issue last spring.
April 27, 2022: Edward was activated.
June 15-Aug 5, 2022: Cabrera was on the IL with right elbow tendinitis.
Oct 3-7, 2022: Cabrera was on the IL.
- June 17-July 18, 2023: The Marlins placed Cabrera on the 15-day IL due to a right shoulder impingement.