Best San Francisco Giants of the 2010s: 29. Melky Cabrera
By Joel Reuter
Melky Cabrera flat-out raked during his one season with the San Francisco Giants, though a PED suspension cut things short.
The San Francisco Giants acquired Melky Cabrera from the Kansas City Royals prior to the 2012 season in exchange for Jonathan Sanchez to serve as the everyday left fielder.
Originally a highly-regarded prospect in the New York Yankees system, Cabrera spent four full seasons with the Yankees before he was traded to the Atlanta Braves in a five-player deal that sent Javier Vazquez to New York.
After a down year in Atlanta, he signed with the Kansas City Royals in free agency and bounced back with a .305/.339/.470 line that included 44 doubles, 18 home runs, 87 RBI and 20 steals for a 4.4 WAR season.
He batted .353/.391/.519 with 33 extra-base hits and 10 steals during the first half of the season after joining the San Francisco Giants on a one-year deal, and that earned him a starting spot on the NL All-Star team.
After the NL squad scored five runs in the first inning, Cabrera hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning to cap the scoring in what would be an 8-0 victory for the National League.
He finished the game 2-for-2 with a single, a home run and two runs scored, earning him MVP honors in the process. That made him the first Giants player since Bobby Bonds in 1973 to win All-Star Game MVP.
Unfortunately, Cabrera was slapped with a 50-game PED suspension on Aug. 15, which effectively ended his tenure with the San Francisco Giants. The suspension expired during the NLCS, but the Giants opted against adding him to the active roster.
He wound up hitting .346/.390/.516 with 25 doubles, 10 triples and 11 home runs in 501 plate appearances over 113 games.
The now 35-year-old has spent time with the Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians and Pittsburgh Pirates since departing, and he’s still going strong in 2019.
Check back here regularly as we count down the 50 best San Francisco Giants of the 2010s.