6 months and $240 million dollars later, Robinson Cano decided to leave New York and head to Seattle thanks to the help of rapper and agent, Jay-Z. Despite recent backlash from the Yankees’ organization, there is no doubt that Cano will be missed both at the plate and in the infield. Rocking some new facial hair, Cano will now be the face of the Mariners as they hope to match the Super Bowl champion Seahawks and make a significant turnaround from last season and make a run in the playoffs. Regardless of all the offseason hype and recent backlash in the media, there is no doubt that Cano will make a significant splash in the AL West as he begins to re-establish himself with a new franchise.
Cano has been in the MLB for 8 full seasons now and has been one of the best offensive (and defensive) second baseman in baseball. With power, a high batting average, and a significant spike in RBIs in recent years, Cano has been deadly at the plate for the Evil Empire over the past 5-6 seasons. Nearly 800 runs scored and over 1600 hits along with 200 HRs and 800+ RBIs, Cano is statistically superior in the context of the MLB as a whole. Along with a career Batting Average of over .300, Cano is lethal in any offensive lineup.
Additionally, Cano is nearly impossible to pitch effectively to. Below is an image of his hot and cold zones over the course of last season. As you can tell, there is not much to work with as a pitcher, except for maybe the low and outside corner. And even so, he still hit .297 in his worst area in the strike zone. Therefore, even if you manage to pick the low and outside corner every time, chances are that he will eventually get on base over the course of the game.
In addition to Cano’s bat, he has been a magician in the field over the course of his MLB career. In addition to his 5 All Star Selections and Silver Slugger awards, he has been a 2 time Gold Glove winner (2010, 2012). As an infielder myself, he makes some of the most difficult plays appear routine and moves so gracefully at second base that he nearly makes fielding look like a dance. Here are some of his highlights in the field over the course of his 2012 Gold Glove winning season.
In conclusion, it will be interesting to see how Cano adapts during his second phase of his stellar career thus far. Escaping the hype and hostile media environment of New York, Cano will be the messiah of the Mariners organization. That being said, the pressure will still be there to perform as well, if not better, as he has been playing during his career. Additionally, Cano will not have the same lineup protecting him as he did in New York. I am positing that he will not get anywhere near the amount of quality pitches to hit as he has in the past. It will be on him to be patient and wait for the pitches he can drive as opposed to chasing pitches low and away if he is being pitched around. As Robinson Cano gets out of his “Empire State of Mind,” he will continue to perform well and “Run this Town” of Seattle as he looks for another World Series run this upcoming season.