- Full name Andrew Jacob Cave
- Born 12/04/1992 in Hampton, VA
- Profile Ht.: 6'0" / Wt.: 200 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Kecoughtan
- Debut 05/19/2018
Drafted in the 6th round (209th overall) by the New York Yankees in 2011 (signed for $800,000).
View Draft ReportCave was a big reason scouts were excited to cover Virginia this spring, but he and several others had seen their stock fall this spring. A legitimate two-way prospect, Cave has scouts divided on whether he projects better on the mound or in the outfield. As a hitter, he shows bat speed, but he has a loop in his swing that could be a long-term problem. He has a lean frame at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds and figures to move to a corner as he fills out. He also lacks the speed for center field. If he concentrates on hitting, his arm would allow him to stick in right field, though he might not have the power to profile there. On the mound, Cave ranges from 86-93 mph with his fastball, usually sitting around 90-91 and touching 94. His best offspeed pitch is a changeup. He has tinkered with a slider this season, but it needs work and scouts haven't seen it much. While some like his aggressive makeup, others describe it as reckless and immature. He's committed to Louisiana State, where he would contribute on both sides of the ball.
Organization Prospect Rankings
After a knee injury cost Cave nearly all of his first two seasons after being drafted, he put together a fine 2013 at low Class A Charleston and jumped onto the Yankees' prospect radar. Cave plays with an all-out attitude that ranks, probably for the better, just a tick below that of system-mate Slade Heathcott. Though he spent most of his time in center field, Cave can play all three outfield spots, thanks to average range and arm strength. He has no true plus tool, but everything but power is at least average. He made adjustments in 2014, including moving away from a rotational swing and learning to trust his hands more. Those adjustments paid off with a system-best 165 hits, a mark that tied him for eighth in the minors. He'll have to tap into his power more often--which plays as below-average, but the Yankees believe can produce 12-15 home runs per year--if he does wind up moving to a corner. Opposing scouts also have noted that Cave struggles with breaking pitches. After a cameo at Double-A Trenton toward the end of 2014, Cave will most likely begin 2015 back in Trenton, in the same outfield with Mason Williams and Aaron Judge.
Despite having only one pro at-bat after missing the entire 2012 season recovering from a right knee injury, Cave wasn't fazed by an assignment to low Class A Charleston, holding his own in a tough hitter's park. He opened the 2013 season in extended spring training but hit his way onto the RiverDogs roster, then tied for third in the South Atlantic League in doubles and grinded his way through a full season, a good sign considering his youth and injury history. As everyday center fielder for Charleston, Cave provided professional at-bats and showed a solid lefthanded swing with a good feel for the barrel. His dirtbag approach and instincts to stay in center field further endear him to scouts. A former high school pitcher who reached 94 mph from the left side, he has the raw arm strength for right field and runs well. Cave still is growing and adding strength, so some of those doubles could become homers a few years down the line. He's an intense player who also earns solid marks for his makeup. After last season's success, Cave will head to high Class A Tampa in 2014. He looks like at least a fourth outfielder, and more if his bat continues to develop.
Cave received the second-largest signing bonus in New York's 2011 draft class-- $800,000 in the sixth round--thanks to his tools, athletic ability and strong commitment as a two-way player to Louisiana State. He helped his cause with a strong summer performance, ranking as the No. 1 prospect in the collegiate Coastal Plain League. The CPL hadn't allowed high schoolers in the league before 2011, and he hit .326/.432/.442 with wood bats. Cave's fast hands produce a whippy swing with plus raw power. His pitch recognition is somewhat raw, and he was susceptible to breaking balls in the summer, so he'll have to make adjustments. Cave played first base in high school and in the CPL in part to save his arm, which delivers fastballs clocked as high as 94 mph. He's an above-average runner, so he should be able to move to the outfield in pro ball. It's possible he could see time in center field, though he profiles better in right. Cave is headed to extended spring training to start 2012 and could earn an assignment to Staten Island.