Cabrera is the perfect example of how you know nothing about a player until he is on your ballclub. After All-Star appearances in 2011 and 2012, he had been trending downward, though not in sensational Jeff Francouer-type fashion.
When Sandy Alderson made the signing around the same time he shored up second base with the Neil Walker deal last winter, the words thrown around were “competent,” “pop,” “veteran.”
Nobody threw around “heart of the team.”
Though mired in the middle with an 0-for-30-something RISP streak (though at the time, the trendy thing to do on this team) it was immediately clear in April with his sure hands and his professional approach at the plate that the Mets had finally gotten some stability at the left-middle infield position.
Cabrera’s personality popped off the screen as he became the official helmet-tossing guy in a record-setting home run year. And what he did to finish off the year, and on a bum knee no less, was stuff of Mets legend.