It's early, I know. But as we said in the off season, branding Melky Cabrera a 4th outfielder was extremely premature.
Leading the Yanks with 5 HR and behind only HMat with a .506 slugging percentage, Melky is showing exactly the kind of growth one would hope from a 23 year old in his 3rd major league season.
My feeling is that Melky could very well grow into a Bernie Williams. Comparing Melky and Bernie's 1st 3 years -
Bernie Year 1 - .238/268/.350, Year 2 - .280/.354/.406 and year 3 - .268/.333/.400 (AVG/OBP/SLG).
Melky has put up 1. .280/.360/.391, year 2 - .273/.327/.391 and .291/.356/.506 so far in year 3.
It's not a huge stretch to project Melky with career numbers very similar to Bernie's .297/.381/.477.
Bernie is in my top 3 Yankees of all time if not #1. On the field he was a high average, good power switch hitter with a very good OBP and an ability to hit in pressure situations. Off the field he was a classy, smart extremely high quality person. I hope to see his #51 in monument park sometime this year.
While it is very early, it's a very good sign that Melky is developing in much the same way Bernie did.