You could make a case for CC Sabathia and possibly Mariano Rivera, but it is clear that Robinson Cano is and has been the MVP of the New York Yankees all year, but will his success at the plate continue when it counts the most, in the playoffs?
Cano has always been a highly praised prospect and player in the Yankees organization, with even Don Mattingly predicting that he would win a Batting Title at some point in his career. He was even dabbled in trade bait when the Yankees acquired Alex Rodriguez from the Rangers, luckily Texas chose Joaquin Arias to go along with Alfonso Soriano, instead of Cano.
Since his impressive rookie campaign in 2005, Cano has evolved into one of the best, if not the best second basemen in the Majors, both at the plate and with the leather.
I always like to compare how he plays the game to how Mariano Rivera pitches, it just seems so effortless. Mo looks like he’s just lobbing the ball to the plate and it ends up a 93 MPH cutter, same with Cano, his side-armed throws to first base are bullets and he makes over-the-shoulder catches easily.
And also like Rivera, he has the numbers to back it up. Cano has only made three errors all season, which gives him a .996 fielding percentage, and puts him in line for his first gold glove. He also has a .314 batting average with 28 home runs and 106 RBI, both career highs.
It is obvious that he will get some major consideration for AL MVP, but will he be able to replicate his regular season success in the month that means the most to Yankees fans, October.
Statistically speaking, he has been very disappointing in the postseason for his career, and last season was no exception. He went 11-57 in the 2009 postseason, with no home runs and six RBI, while striking out 15 times. Certainly, the playoffs are an area in which Cano can improve.
After watching teammate Alex Rodriguez put up monster numbers last year in the playoffs and getting the monkey of his back, it is time for Cano to do the same. No, I’m not asking or expecting a six home run, 18 RBI postseason from Cano, but the Yankees are going to need him to come through more than he has in the past.
If the Yankees are going to repeat as World Series Champions, the offense is going to have to do some major damage to pick up their starting pitching, which remains a mess after CC Sabathia. So it’s time for Cano to get the monkey off his back and earn his real Yankee Pinstripes.