A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

How Good is Robinson Cano?

I cannot turn on 1050 ESPN Radio or WFAN without hearing Yankee fans talk about Robinson Cano as the second coming or Mr. Intangibles himself, Derek Jeter. While I have no idea if Robinson has as many intangibles or knows how to win as much as Derek, he is certainly having an impressive rookie campaign.
May 6 2 11 3 13 .253 .273 .398 .670
June 7 4 15 4 12 .310 .343 .520 .863
July 8 2 11 2 8 .356 .371 .540 .911
Total 21 8 37 9 33 .307 .330 .489 .819
The kid just keeps putting up more impressive numbers every month and in 69 games, has twenty-one doubles and is only eight off his career high of twenty-nine in 2004 between AA and AA in 135 games. His eight homers is seven off his career high of in 2002 in 135 games between the New York-Penn League and the South Atlantic League. He has topped .300 only at one minor league stop in 2004 in the hitter friendly Eastern League and never topped .280 in any other season. How can anyone have their best year of their career in their rookie year in the big leagues at 22?

I truly think that he is largely a product of his environment. He has predominantly batted either first or ninth in the order. When batting ninth, he had Derek Jeter and the rest of the big bats following him and right now, he has Gary Sheffield, Alex Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui, and the red hot Jason Giambi following him in the lineup. If you were a pitcher, wouldn't you feed him a steady diet of fastballs and go after him? When facing the Yankees, you have to choose your poison and he seems like the likely target to see the best pitches. He arguably has the best protection out of any hitter in the bigs.
             Age  G XBH Runs RBI BB  Hitting Line  #P/PA
Jose Reyes 19 69 21 47 32 13 .307/.334/.434 3.42
David Wright 21 69 32 41 40 14 .293/.376/.499 3.79
Robinson Cano 22 69 31 43 43 37 .307/.334/.434 2.94
Jose Reyes made his Major League debut at 19 years old and put up a .307/.334/.434 line and while probably not being Jose's best pro season, it was pretty close to his best and really close to Cano's numbers and impressive for being a mere teenager when came up. In David Wright's first year, he was a year younger than Cano with rather similar numbers, but displayed more plate discipline. Cano is not a choosey hitter and it really is a mystery whether he is just a very good hitter when he decides to swing, or whether he is getting good pitches to hit. With his bad discipline, it is certainly curious why pitchers have not exposed him more if they could.

So I guess the questions are, is he better than, or as good as, David Wright and Jose Reyes? Is he a product of his environment like I believe was a big part of Alfonso Soriano's success early on? Does he put up the same numbers playing for Pittsburgh?

* * *

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk lost to Richmond 7-3. Anderson Hernandez continues to fall back to Earth and went 0 for 4 and is now batting .324. Eric Valent continues to hit and went 2 for 4 to bring his average up to .303. Neal Musser got roughed up in 3.2 innings of work and gave up thirteen hits, six earned runs, three walks, two homers, and struck out only one.
    • Altoona beat Binghamton 6-5. Lastings Milledge went 1 for 6 and struck out twice.
    • St. Lucie played a doubleheader vs. Tampa. In game one, St.Lucie won 6-1 behind a 2 for 3 day by Jamar Hill in which he tripled, hit a homer, and knocked in four RBIs. Tyler Davidson also knocked a homer and went 1 for 2. Steve Trachsel went four innings of one hit ball and did not walk a batter while striking out three. In game two, St. Lucie won 1-0. Blake Whealy provided the Mets only hit and he made it count making it a homerun. Vicent Corova went seven innings, giving up two hits, no runs, one walk, and struck out four against the Yankees best pitching prospect Phillip Hughes. Hughes went five innings, giving up no hits, one walk, and struck out seven.
    • Hagerstown beat Delmarva 5-0. Mike Carp went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored and Jesus Flores went 2 for 4 with a run scored, two doubles and an RBI.
    • Brooklyn beat Batvia 5-2. Armand Gaerlan and Joshua Peterson each went 1 for 5 with two RBIs.
    • Bristol came back from a 5-0 deficit to beat Kingsport 6-5. Matthew Anderson went 1 for 3 with a walk, a homer, and four RBIs.
    • The GCL Mets and the GCL Marlins were rained out.
    • The Venezuelan Mets beat the Venezuelan Pirates 6-2. Alejandro Zuaznabar went 2 for 4 with a run scored, a double, a walk, and three RBIs while Julio Perez went 1 for 2 with two walks, a run scored, and two RBIs.
  • Evan MacLane gets some virtual ink from Baseball America's Daily Dish on Monday.

    Mets lefthander Evan MacLane just keeps mowing down hitters. He threw a five-hit complete-game shutout Sunday against Bowie in his Double-A debut. He struck out seven batters and walked two in a 2-0 Binghamton win. MacLane, 22 and a 25th-round pick from Feather River (Calif.) Community College in 2003, was 8-5, 3.20 with a 92-15 strikeout-walk ratio in 112 innings at high Class A St. Lucie.

  • The chats are coming at a fast and furious pace and if you love reading the same questions over and over again, you will love reading these chats. Monday, Tim Kurkjian and Buster Olney both had chats.

    Franco (Hoboken): Will the Mets really deal the farm for Soriano??

    Tim Kurkjian: I can't see the Mets making a similar mistake to last year. Granted, Soriano is much more of an impact player than Victor Zambrano, but they learned their lesson trading a good young prospect with Scott Kazmir. I think they will make a deal before the 31st, but I don't think they will be willing to give up their prized young players to do it.

    Ah, learning from you mistakes. A truly novel idea in the Mets organization.

    paul, dc: hear that? that was the nats falling back to earth

    Tim Kurkjian: Yeah, the Nationals are falling ... and fast. It's no wonder, given that they are the lowest scoring team in the major leagues. No team in baseball history has ever finished last in it's league in runs scored and won 90 games OR gone to the playoffs. ... And only 10 of those 210 teams have EVER finished above .500. The Nats really need another hitter and another pitcher if they are going to make it to the playoffs.

    Definitely the question of the day. They are a great story this year no matter it ends up, but there is no way they are the last team standing.

    Josh (NYC): The NYM need a 2b and have some pitching, Texas has hitting and needs pitching. Will Omar pull off a Soriano deal? Would you give up Milledge to get him?

    Buster Olney: Josh, and others: Sorry for the delay, but like an idiot, spilled coffee on the keyboard, so had to switch computers. I think of all the GMs facing the buyer/seller quandary, Omar's got the toughest call. If I was him, I'd make more lateral moves, plug and fill a bit, because that bullpen looks so thin and the problems are too steep to solve now. But that's not his style, he's in New York, and adding Soriano could potentially be an impact move. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him playing second base at Shea in the next homestand.

    Like an idiot? Anyway, that is bold statement by Buster saying Soriano may be with the Mets by the next homestand.

    Greg (NYC): Is there any truth to this Soriano to the Mets rumor or will this rumor merely come up every off-season and trade deadline until the guy retires? Who do you think the Mets have to give up?

    Buster Olney: Greg: I'm sure the Mets have and will talk about it. it makes a lot of sense, as long as the Rangers aren't looking for two A-plus type prospects. Personally, I wouldn't give up Milledge, as some of you have asked.

    Wow, at least we agree on something. Excuse me while I go check for the apocalypse.

  • Craig Hansen signed with the Red Sox for $4,000,000. According to ESPN, Hansen gets a $1,325,000 signing bonus, payable $441,667 within 15 days of the contract being approved, $441,667 next Jan. 15 and $441,666 on Aug. 15 next year. He receives a salary of $575,000 for the remainder of this season and $700,000 salaries for each of the next three years.

    The bar has been set and the Mets will not be able to slide by without giving Mike Pelfrey at least Craig Hansen money, but the Mets cannot make a habit of giving every first round pick a spot on the 40-man. Phil Humber's injury frees up a spot for him and this should spark some talks at the very least after the trade deadline passes.

  • From Newsday:

    The Rangers, according to a person familiar with the situation, have pushed for Milledge and Petit in any swap for Alfonso Soriano, and the possibility of that trade was characterized yesterday as "increasingly doubtful."

    Increasingly doubtful? Was this ever a consideration? NJ.com mentioned that the Rangers offered Soriano in exchange for Mike Cameron, Lastings Milledge, and Jae Seo, which ended the talks as the Mets rejected the offer flat out.

    Also according to Newsday:

    The Mariners' Ron Villone is among the relievers the Mets are considering; the 35-year-old lefthander is 2-3 with a 2.35 ERA in 48 appearances this season.

    It also mentions that Chuck LaMar is looking for a premium prospect back for Danys Baez and the Mets would have to part with either Milledge or Petit.

  • Padres first baseman Phil Nevin rejected a trade that would have sent him to the Baltimore Orioles for pitcher Sidney Ponson. The proposed deal was contingent upon Nevin's approval. He has the right to block a trade to eight teams, including the Orioles. The Rangers might try to trade for Ponson.

    I just cannot figure this stuff out. The guy is not wanted there and only had to play elsewhere for another two months and rejected it to play less in San Diego. He is not get resigned by the Padres, so his reasoning for not trying to at least pad his numbers to try and hook onto another team next year is baffling.

  • The Twins took a look at Alfonso Soriano.

    When the Twins spoke to the Rangers, some of the names they offered back were righthanders Joe Mays and Kyle Lohse and lefthander J.C. Romero, one person familiar with the talks said.

  • The Mets got three runs and four hits in the fourth inning of yesterday's game and had two hits in the other eight innings. That is practically getting no hit. Only the Diamondbacks on April 19th, the Rockies on June 6th, and the White Sox and the Rockies on June 10th had less hits in a game this season. Leave it to the Mets to turn in the fifth worst hit total this year in Colorado against a reliever who was pressed into starting action and make Coors look like a pitcher’s park.

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