Jake Cave

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Andrew Jacob Cave

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Jake Cave reached the big leagues with the Minnesota Twins in 2018.

Cave hit .594 as a high school senior while going 6-3 with a 1.65 ERA and fanning 101 in 55 innings. The New York Yankees took him in the 6th round of the 2011 amateur draft, one round after Greg Bird. Cave was 0 for 1 with a walk for the GCL Yankees that year, fracturing his kneecap in a home plate collision in his first game as a pro. After surgeries, he returned in 2013 with the Charleston RiverDogs. Starting in center field, he hit .282/.347/.401 with 18 steals in 27 tries, 37 doubles and 69 runs scored. He was second among Yankees farmhands in doubles (2 shy of Peter O'Brien) and tied for third with 6 triples. In the South Atlantic League, he tied Josh Bell for third in doubles and Brandon Nimmo for 10th in triples. His .992 fielding percentage led SAL outfielders. In 2014, he was with the Tampa Yankees (.304/.354/.395 in 90 games) and Trenton Thunder (.273/.344/.455), with a combined total of 9 triples and 74 runs scored, finishing third in the Yankees chain in three-baggers. In the Florida State League, he was 4th in average (behind Bell, Leonardo Reginatto and Charlie Tilson). He was named to the FSL All-Star team as the left fielder even though he was mainly a center fielder (Tilson was picked in center field, Bell in right field). He spent time in 2015 with Trenton (.269/.330/.345) and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (11-for-24, 3 doubles, a triple, 3 walks), with 17 steals in 20 tries and 6 triples.

The Cincinnati Reds took him with the second pick of the 2015 Rule V Draft, after fellow outfielder Tyler Goeddel and just ahead of teammate Evan Rutckyj. He failed to make the Reds and was returned to the Yankees on April 3, 2016. Assigned to Trenton, he hit .288 in 27 games, then was promoted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he played another 89 games, hitting .261. Altogether, his batting line was .268/.330/.427 with 8 homers and 55 RBI in 116 games. He again split 2017 between Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, with the majority of his games in AAA. He had his best season to date, hitting .305/.351/.542 in 103 games, including a .324 average in AAA. He hit 26 doubles, 5 triples and 20 homers, scored 66 runs and drove in 56. He was added to the Yankees' major league roster after the season but was cut only a couple of weeks into spring training in 2018, as the Yankees needed roster room for some late acquisitions. On March 16th, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins for pitcher Luis Gil and assigned to the AAA Rochester Red Wings to start the year. He was hitting .265 after 35 games when he was called up as Joe Mauer was placed on the disabled list.

Jake a good major league debut for the Twins on May 19, 2018. Starting in center field and batting 7th against the Milwaukee Brewers in an interleague game, he grounded out against fellow rookie Freddy Peralta in his first at bat, then homered off Peralta in the 4th with Logan Morrison on for his first hit, home run, run and RBI. After striking out against Dan Jennings in the 6th, he was replaced by pinch-hitter Mitch Garver with the potential tying run on first base in the bottom of the 9th; manager Paul Molitor did not want him to face the filthy pitches of Josh Hader, who struck out Garver as well as the next two batters swinging to earn the save in a 5-4 Brewers win. With starter Byron Buxton battling a string of injuries, Cave quickly settled in as the Twins' regular center fielder. On August 5th, he hit his first career grand slam off Danny Duffy of the Kansas City Royals in the 2nd inning of a 5-4 win. Jake hit .269/.318/.481 with 32 extra base hits in 91 games in '18, then batted .258/.351/.455 in 72 games in 2019, spending his share of time in Triple A with a crowded house in the outfield. He saw his first postseason action, going 1-for-4 while striking out twice as the Twins once again dropped a postseason series to Cave's old organization, the Yankees.

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