Sunday, April 25, 2010

RBInson Cano

Remember when Robinson Cano couldn't hit with runners in scoring position? Yeah, those were the days weren't they? I normally deride the notion that certain players don't "perform in the clutch" or "can't hit with runners in scoring position," for all the usual reasons. But with Cano last year, well, I had to admit that maybe there was something to it. In 198 plate appearances with runners in scoring position, Cano hit .207/.242/.332. In high leverage situations, Cano hit .228/.252/.323. That compares to a low leverage line of .368/.399/.570, and an overall slash line of .320/.352/.520. To be blunt about it, Cano's performance was much worse with runners in scoring position than it should have been given his overall talent.

Why this was the case for Robinson last year, I don't really know, but so far this year it looks like he may have put those issues behind him. The season is young, of course, but so far, in 22 plate appearances with RISP, Cano is hitting a stout .333/.364/.611, compared to an overall line of .368/.416/.676. The numers or still lower, but they're not so much lower that there's any reason to think it anything other than a statistical anamoly that's comes with the problems of a small sample size, at least at this point. The caveat is that it is April, and Cano had a scorching April last year, hitting .366/.400/.581 before slumping somewhat in May and June. Still, if Cano can hit somewhat close to his overall line with RISP, he's going to be a tremendously productive player driving in a ton of runs, and helping the Yankees tremendous offense be that much better. I don't see any reason he can't do it, and I expect this to be the season Cano "arrives," so to speak.

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