Many have said Robinson Cano is the best hitter in the game. I believe he is. His swing is pure and beautiful. It’s easy and his bat head stays through the zone. His head barely moves, sometimes if at all, and he’s always locked in. Call this a little infatuation (or a lot) but he is a special player and has a chance to have a special year.
Now this is not to say Robinson Cano is Rogers Hornsby, but he should be regarded as one of the better second basemen of our time, if not ever. It’s early but this is just assuming he continues at his current production rate. His career average slash line is .308/.349/.502. It’s not farfetched to say this could be his best season yet. He is on pace to have career highs in HRs, runs, slugging percentage, and on base percentage.
To put his season in perspective, there are two main statistics I want to look at. Regarding slugging percentage, there have been nine other seasons better than Cano is currently having. Seven of those are by Rogers Hornsby. If we look at home runs, which is mainly why this season could be so special for Robbie, Davey Johnson of the 1973 Atlanta Braves hit 43 home runs. This is still the all-time home run record by a second basemen in a single season. Cano has 20 currently and could easily hit over 43 and this is why this year is shaping up to be a big deal.
This record probably won’t get much attention as it’s only in relation to second basemen, but nonetheless it is a tremendous accomplishment. To be in the company of those like Rogers Hornsby speaks volumes about the type of player Cano is. When he started with the Yankees in 2005, he hit .297 and has hit over .300 in six of the eight seasons he’s been a Yankee. He hit .342 and only hit 15 home runs in 2006, and he’s gone on to improve every single year in the league and I cannot wait to see what else he can do.
I can see how my appreciation for Cano is a little fanatical but it’s coming from an objective place. Cano has flaws, like every player, and teams have exploited those weaknesses. He has been known to sometimes get complacent and that can get him in trouble in the field as well, but it seems that’s where the laundry list ends.
Robinson Cano has done the best he could in his time with the Yankees. He is deserving of a long term deal so that he can stay a Yankee for as long as he can. He’s received numerous awards and accolades. He won the 2011 Home Run Derby, he is an All-Star, Gold Glove recipient, and most importantly, a World Series champion. As long as he mans second for the Yankees, we’ll be in good hands. I can’t wait to see him continue the tear he’s on after the break. I want him to keep this pace so that we get to see some history at the end of September.
Here’s to 44.