Very quietly at age 27, Robinson Cano is starting to fulfill his promise as a big league player. Across most (prominent) offensive stats he is among the league leaders in category after category. He currently sits at #2 in MLB for Batting Average at .362 (behind Justin Morneau @ .368) #3 in the AL for Slugging at .607, 4th in OPS at 1.012, 6th in RBIs, #1 in Hits, #3 in Doubles and 5th in Runs Scored. He leads the Yankees in every major offensive category with Hits, Runs, 2B, HRs, RBIs, Total Bases, BA, OBP and SLG. For those who prefer advanced stats, he is 4th in the AL in wOBA. His stellar ability to make contact has shined again this year, sitting at 11th in Z-Contact% (#1 is …wait for it…Brett Gardner). He is 3rd overall in WAR at 2.6, and first among all 2B (Hudson 2.0). Through the first two months of the 2010 season, the best hitter on the Yanks hasn’t been named Jeter, Teixeira or Rodriguez, it’s been Robbie Cano.
Defensively, he hasn’t fared quite as well of yet. His UZR/150 stands at -4.7 for the 2010 season, which represents a small improvement over his career mark. For his career his rating stands at -6.9. While he’s never been the rangiest at his position, his plus arm for his position still makes him an asset.
Even the much-debated ‘Clutch’ issue with Robbie has melted away this season. He’s currently hitting .333/.391/.630 (1.020 OPS) with Runners in scoring position, which mirrors his overall production. Some have even started wondering if he should bat cleanup, and with the Yanks recent struggles with RISP it’s something you can’t dismiss entirely. But those things happen just about every year to most teams (look at the Phillies lately) and it’s just part of the ebb and flow of a long season. Robbie profiles better as a #5 hitter because of his ability to make contact and propensity to swing the bat. But it’s time to adjust the much-overused tag attached to Robbie of “He’ll win a batting title someday” and replace it with “One of the best Second Basemen in Baseball”.