Cano flashing even more power in 2011

(All numbers current as of before game one yesterday)

News flash: Robinson Cano is good at hitting.

While this year (.376 wOBA/136 wRC+) may not be as good as last year (.389 wOBA/142 wRC+/), there are, as usual, some great signs for Cano. His triple slash line (.304/.358/.526) is also down from last year (.319/.381/.534), but he’s certainly smacking the ball around in his normal fashion.

I pointed this out to Larry via G-Chat the other day because it was something I hadn’t noticed until that point. Right now, Robinson Cano has a career high IsoP (.222), beating out last year by 8 points (.214). On May 27, Cano bottomed out in terms of slugging at .481 (let’s just think about this for a second. How awesome is it that the LOW point for the Yankees’ second baseman has been .481). At that point, his IsoP was “only” .208. From May 28 on, his IsoP has been .230 and his line has been .322/.369/.552.

His HR/PA is actually down from last year, and if Robbie were to match the PA total from 2010 (696), his pace would put him at 28 home runs, one short of his career high 29 from last year. Despite that, Cano’s HR/FB% is his highest ever a 17.3%, up three percent from his previous career high (set last year). Clearly, Cano’s power has been on display all season, and he’s matched that with his renwoned contact skills. Robinson’s contact rate is right at his careeer level and even though his BABIP is down a bit to .313 (.326 in 2010, .321 career), his line drive rate is at 22.8%, a new career high.

There are things about Cano’s year that have me concerned–his regressing walk skills–but his power has been fantastic this year and the fact that he does this from an up the middle position is even better. The average American League second baseman has a triple slash line of .259/.319/.390/.709 with an IsoP of .131. Cano, as stated above, is hitting .304/.348/.522/.870. Using the positional averages, Cano is hititng 117/109/168/122. On the same scale, his IsoP is at 169. This is nothing new, Cano is a lot better than your average second baseman, but it’s always nice to just remind yourself of HOW much better he is than everyone else, especially in the power department.