It’s hard to notice the enormous smile on Oswaldo Cabrera’s face whenever he’s talking baseball with somebody. The grin is often infectious in the same way his hustle in the field and at the plate has been since the Yankees called him up from the minors.
Across town — and for two days this week just down the hall — another budding star was making a name for himself with the Mets. Brett Baty has made an impact right away as well since making his major league debut recently.
As the Mets and Yankees have captivated New York baseball fans with a summer to remember, two prospects that made their MLB debuts on the same day have quickly endeared themselves to the fans on one of baseball’s biggest stages.
“I’m just trying to be me like I was doing in Triple-A,” Cabrera told amNewYork on Tuesday. “Playing hard every time. Trying to help the team win. At the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters. I try to do whatever I can to help the team win.”
And for Cabrera that has meant putting it all on the line on a nightly basis. Cabrera recorded his first big league RBI in Tuesday’s win over the Mets and his play in the field since he was first called up has included playing in the infield and outfield, robbing a home run and making a Derek Jeter-esque catch that sent him hard-charging into the tarp.
Baty has had four hits over his first eight games and recorded four RBIs while also hitting a home run in his first major league at-bat. Images of his family celebrating the moment went viral on social media.
“I mean it’s been incredible,” Baty said of the whole experience so far. “I was in Charlotte taking (batting practice) then our manager came in and said you’re going to the big leagues. And I was all for it. That’s what we all dream of and to be able to come up here at this time of the year and fight for wins with these guys in this clubhouse has just been truly a dream come true and we’re going to try to win a pennant. It’s been awesome.
Neither player has tried to shake things up with what they’ve been doing since arriving in the Big Apple. Cabrera has had the fortune of coming up and being able to play in front of the home crowd right off the bat.
Baty has played on the road for his first eight MLB games and will finally play his first game at Citi Field on Thursday. But both players recognized how special it was to come up and play in their first Subway Series so quickly.
“It’s awesome to be able to come up here and be able to contribute right off the bat,” Baty said. “Especially these past couple of series we went to Atlanta, we played Philly. Two division rivals there and we come up here and play the New York Yankees, which for a good part of the season were considered one of the best teams in baseball. Just to have those three teams right off the bat has been awesome.”
In an ironic twist of fate, prior to Tuesday’s game against the Yankees, Baty had mentioned being well aware of the success that Cabrera had been having. He had also seen a number of the highlight reel plays that Cabrera had made.
Later that night, the Yankees rookie added to that with a laser throw from right to catcher Kyle Higashioka to get Baty out at the plate and save a run.
For more coverage of the Yankees and Mets, visit amNY.com
For two nights in the Bronx, two of New York’s young baseball stars went head to head in front of packed crowds at Yankee Stadium. Cabrera and the Yankees may have gotten the better of Baty and the Mets those two nights, but he’s been happy to see his fellow rookie have success quickly like he has had.
“That’s all good. I want all the guys that get called up to have success,” Cabrera said. “Can be with the Yankees, can be with the other club. I wish the best thing for everybody.”