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SF Giants: Former top prospect Gustavo Cabrera passes away at 25

Gustavo Cabrera #12 of Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic bats against the Los Angeles Juniors in the 2011 RBI World Series Baseball Championship game on August 14, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He would sign with the SF Giants the following year. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)
Gustavo Cabrera #12 of Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic bats against the Los Angeles Juniors in the 2011 RBI World Series Baseball Championship game on August 14, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He would sign with the SF Giants the following year. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Gustavo Cabrera
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 14: Gustavo Cabrera #12 of Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, is named Most Valuable Player for the 2011 RBI World Series August 14, 2011, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)

According to a report by Diego Guzmán of Operación Deportiva, former SF Giants prospect Gustavo Cabrera has passed away from complications created by COVID-19. Cabrera was just 25 years old.

Not long ago, Cabrera was one of the most exciting prospects in the Giants farm system. Signed for a $1.3 million signing bonus in 2012, Cabrera was considered the best international prospect of his signing class. The then 16-year-old outfielder had already shown a tantalizing combination of plus-plus speed and plus power potential. According to Baseball America, Cabrera was already the 12th best prospect in the organization.

Former SF Giants prospect Gustavo Cabrera has passed away from complications caused by COVID-19.

Cabrera had some struggles in his professional debut at the Dominican Summer League in 2013. While he stole 21 bases in 54 games, his young swing left him vulnerable to pro pitching. He managed just a pedestrian .247/.379/.360 triple-slash. Still, at 17, Cabrera looked like he’d have plenty of time to continue improving.

Then, that winter, Cabrera fell through a glass table in his home and severed 11 tendons in his right arm. Rushed to the hospital, surgeons had to operate to save his hand from amputation. While Cabrera’s right hand was salvaged, doctors told him any future baseball career was nearly impossible to envision. An intense rehab awaited him just to regain the basic use of his hand.

For the next two years, Cabrera worked tirelessly to return to the diamond. By the end of 2015, he appeared in a pair of games with the Giants rookie-ball affiliate in Arizona. Regardless of where his career went from there, he had already made a monumental achievement.

After appearing in just two professional games over the previous two years, Cabrera received a daring assignment to Low-A Salem Keizer. Against the highest level of competition he’d ever faced, he managed to slug .434 and earned a promotion to full-season ball with the Augusta Greenjackets.

Still only 21 in 2017, Cabrera returned to Salem-Keizer and looked like the hitter he was once projected to be. He bashed three homers in 16 games and finished the year with a .294/.345/.549 triple-slash. However, continued pain caused by the original hand injury and built-up scar tissue finally forced him to retire.

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The entire Around the Foghorn team sends our deepest condolences to the friends, family, and all those impacted by Gustavo Cabrera’s untimely passing. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause incalculable amounts of pain across the globe. Please stay distanced, wear masks, and get vaccinated.

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