First things first, contrary to what the title suggests, I am not a proponent of Performance Enhancing Drug use. I think it is unethical and one of the lowest things you can do WITHIN the game of baseball. Also, if you asked me to pick a Cabrera I’d want on my team, I’d pick Melky over Miggy. Miggy drank and drove putting innocent people at risk and has been accused of domestic battery. Despite all of Melky’s flaws , I love the acquisition and I don’t worry much about the drop off in production post-PED use.
Looking at Melky Cabrera’s skill set that he doesn't rely on power, his ISO the last 2 years has been higher (.164 and .170) but even before his terrible season with the Braves he posted a .142 ISO. Some of the Melk Mans detractors point out that he has had inflated batting averages on balls in play over the last 2 seasons (.352). Melky hits lots of ground balls, nearly 50% for his career. That factor combined with the turf at Rogers Center should/could lead to a higher than normal BABIP.
One of Melky’s strengths is his plate discipline, he has decent on base skills (7.3% career walk rate), and doesn't strike out a tonne (12.1%) and those rates have been fairly consistent year to year. His whiff rate is very low (5.5%) despite a slightly higher than average out of zone swing rate, but he makes great contact on pitches out of the zone, and has good results compared to normal, on pitches out of the zone.
All said and done, Melky doesn't have to be great to live up to his contract, he basically just has to go out there and be a league average LF. If he’s more than that, and I believe he will be, it’s a great sign. If all he is, is his 2009 season, he’ll still be a worth his contract. His skill set doesn't lend itself to being a product of his PED use, but we don’t truly know the impact of PED’s really. That is one of the reasons I am looking at the glass of Melk half full. I’ll show myself out now.