Not every player that makes it to The Show is going to be flashy, hit dingers every game and go slamming into walls to make a save. There are players that are the perfect addition to the team and make the chemistry what it is. The line-up works and makes plays in the outfield that keep a team in the game. Jake Cave doesn’t break the Twins wallet, and he does his job. He is worth more than his contract shows and fans keep sleeping on him.
Jake Cave came swinging onto the Twins scene in 2018 and sealed his spot on the team in his first year with thirteen homeruns and 45 RBIs! He was on fire and 2019 was no slow down. Joining the team in hitting 307 homeruns that year to out hit any team in MLB. Cave has been an integral part of this team since suiting up and he hasn't slowed down in how hard he plays, swings, or dives for outfield balls. The Hampton native continues to defy the trade deadlines, and stays on with the Twins as a minimum salary player with a million dollar attitude. In 2020 Cave struggled a little at the plate, nothing that threw up red flags as the player continued to be a heavy contributor to the line up. When he is up at the plate he has a small lag in his timing, but you could tell early in 2021 that he was not able to rotate as far, move as fast or swing has hard and eventually it became a concern. Fans would say he is getting old, is average or washed out, but it was more than that and I refused to listen to the clamor of the haters. Cave finally disappeared from Minneapolis after feeling immense back pain for a consistent amount of time.
The 28 year old center-fielder doesn’t give up. He thought he had a sore back sending him down to the IL, which ended up being a fractured disc due to stress and spent sixty days rehabbing in St. Paul. Over that time, he worked extremely hard to not only take the care needed to improve his back, but also to improve his swing. He batted 11-for-30 with a home run, a double, six runs and five RBI across eight rehab games. He continued to improve and is something that the Twins need to consider keeping around as a depth option in the outfield. His time in St. Paul showed that not only can he hit, but he is an asset at the plate the more he sees it. He has more than shown his worth covering down for players like Buxton, the other centerfielder who can’t seem to stay healthy or in the game.
Jake Cave has shown up for the Twins every instance they have needed him without reserve, without complaint and with one-hundred percent effort. He has played every position in the outfield with ease and even been added to the line up as the DH to cover. In those three positions he has only had one error in 46 games that he has played this year in the Twins Club House. Since coming back in July, has continued to make progress at the plate with his August average at .186 even if he has gotten less at bat’s than any of the other players on the team.
Jake Cave may not be a shiny-bomba-hitting-player, but he is clutch in the outfield and one of the more reliable players on the team. He continues to show up and do not only his job, but any job that is asked of him, even if he is not perfect. With the season coming to an end and while realizing baseball is a business, it would be bad business to get rid of Cave. The Twins are getting a player out playing his salary and you aren’t going to get dedication or hard work from another player like that and the beard doesn’t hurt either.