Aug 24, 2006

Love for Cano

I know this may sound boastful and even conceited, but when I watched Robbie Cano in his first month in the show last season, I predicted he would win a batting title before his career was up. His swing is picture perfect, he's hit the other way from day 1, and he rarely looks overmatched. Then during a game the other day, Kay or someone was saying that Mattingly said the exact same thing, that Cano would win a batting title in his career. I called that over a year ago!

Anyway, he's not going to have tremendous power, but I do see him developing into a 20 HR, 100 r, 100 rbi, 20 sb, .330 hitter. He hits good pitches, bad pitches, & hits them everywhere. He's a lighter-hitting Vlad Guerrero.

Cano actually has an outside shot at the batting title this year. His .328 ba would tie him for 4th if he hadn't missed 35 games with a bad hammy. But by the end of the season, his AB total should qualify him for the title. The leader is currently Joe Mauer at .357! However, his ba has been dropping steadily, and he is a catcher, for which the wear & tear may cause an accelerated drop in ba. Cano on the other hand plays second, and with the injury, he kind of had a break in the middle of the season. His August ba is .343, and his ops is 1.037!

And his defense - spectacular. He makes the difficult look routine. How many times this year has he scooped a short hop, or made a ranging stab in short right, & fired a bullet to first, or deftly turned a double-play? And he's improving every day.

The only problem I see is his plate discipline. It's just a minor problem really, because he usually hits the ball hard, but taking a few more walks would only help him & the team. 338 AB, 37 K, 15 BB this year. However, his walks per k has improved from last year, .24 vs. .41. His OBP is .359, up from .320 last year. And I expect the influence of Abreu and Melky will help in the short term, and in time he'll develop a keen eye and become an even more dangerous hitter.

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