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  1. #151
    100 victories in 100 battles Kiwiwriter's Avatar
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    I think Robinson Cano has to do two things in 2006:

    1. Avoid getting "gay," as Rich Gossage said in his book.
    2. Tighten up his defense on the routine plays.

    The first point is not a reference to the subject of the movie "Brokeback Mountain," but actually Goose referring to players who would get overly nonchalant and self-satisfied with their level of play, and would lose concentration. In the old days, it was called the "sophomore slump." He can't look back...he's got to keep pushing forward.

    The second is pretty obvious...he was good in critical moments, but he seemed to lose that critical concentration on the routine stuff, which is the bread-and-butter that makes 27 outs. Willie Randolph can't help him any more, but Larry Bowa can. So can Luis Sojo, I guess.

    Other than that, I think his future is unlimited, and I got to tell him so when he came to City Hall in Newark to receive an award from the Dominican community. Quiet, respectful guy. I told him he was the best overall second baseman I'd seen since Willie Randolph, and he was kind of embarrassed.

    (Soriano fans: I was mostly saying that to give Robinson a boost. Soriano was one heck of a second baseman. But Alfonso never saw a pitch he didn't swing at. I think Cano has better bat control.)
    Best, DHL
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  2. #152

    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    How's Cano's english, does anyone know?

    I think his potential is unlimited, and the next 2 years will tell whether we have the real deal, or if CJ Henry should consider moving to the other side of the bag...

    From the looks of it, we have our 2Bman, and hopefully he improves on a very strong rookie showing.

  3. #153
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by surge511
    How's Cano's english, does anyone know?

    I think his potential is unlimited, and the next 2 years will tell whether we have the real deal, or if CJ Henry should consider moving to the other side of the bag...

    From the looks of it, we have our 2Bman, and hopefully he improves on a very strong rookie showing.
    He speaks well, but has a thick accent.

  4. #154

    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmykey2
    What is that based on? I'd like to think a player who had the AL's 2nd highest BA in September and hit decently in the postseason shows no reason to expect a decline in his 2006 production.
    1. prOPS is a better predictor of future AVG/OBP/SLG than actual AVG/OBP/SLG, he outperformed it, so it should fall
    2. Last year he set career highs in AVG and SLG, usually that suggests improvement or fluke. i think its a little of both, b/c drastic improvements dont happen very often

  5. #155
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by homer2931
    1. prOPS is a better predictor of future AVG/OBP/SLG than actual AVG/OBP/SLG, he outperformed it, so it should fall
    2. Last year he set career highs in AVG and SLG, usually that suggests improvement or fluke. i think its a little of both, b/c drastic improvements dont happen very often
    He has hit at all lebels, and at his age, you can't say that a career high is a fluke. Not in the least.

    He can hit, will continue to hit, and be a solid player here for a long time.

  6. #156
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by homer2931
    1. prOPS is a better predictor of future AVG/OBP/SLG than actual AVG/OBP/SLG, he outperformed it, so it should fall
    2. Last year he set career highs in AVG and SLG, usually that suggests improvement or fluke. i think its a little of both, b/c drastic improvements dont happen very often
    To answer the question that was posed to you, prOPS is based on batted ball types and average outcomes of those types. Basically, based on the number of line drives, fly balls, ground balls, etc. that Cano hit, his line should have been XYZ. Of course, prOPS isn't perfect and there are some hitters who will consistently underperform or overperform their prOPS as I don't think it is speed adjusted (one example of something that can throw these projections off). Additionally, it's almost false to just make the statement that "drastic improvements don't happen very often" without acknowledging that Cano is at the point in his career where drastic improvements are more common and real.

    BJG, the ages you gave when talking about minor league levels would be ideal ages for players who are prospects, not for the average minor leaguer or average player, which is what your post made it seem like you were saying to me.

    When looking at Cano's career minor league statistics it is important to break it down further in order to see why last year makes sense. If you separate Cano's minor league career into lower minors (A+ and below) and upper minors (AA and above) you will see that Cano made marked improvements upon graduating to the upper levels of the minor league system and his ML production doesn't come as as much of a surprise. As I have been saying for quite some time now, Cano HAS in fact been a very good hitter (all things considered) since the beginning of the 2004 season, so we're now at about 2 years of data, is that enough? I'm not saying he's going to hit as well as he did last year, but I am saying I think that about 1000 ABs should be enough for people to stop commenting on his performance as heavily flukey.

    The last point I would like to make is that if you look even more closely at Cano's minor league track record, the only year you can really find fault in, I believe, is '03 when he played in the FSL, which is an extremely tough environment hit in.
    "I love Hughes, really I'm not kidding here, I am in love with him, I'm a straight male and I don't even know what he looks like, but I am in love."-JeterRodriguezSheff

  7. #157
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by surge511
    How's Cano's english, does anyone know?
    I watched one post game interview with him. I laughed for a week.
    Let the kids play.

  8. #158

    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by NJASDJDH
    BJG, the ages you gave when talking about minor league levels would be ideal ages for players who are prospects, not for the average minor leaguer or average player, which is what your post made it seem like you were saying to me.
    Sorry, that's what I meant.

    I don't think Cano's performance was at all flukey last year, I just question the consistent ceiling that many here are talking about for a guy who is so BA dependant.

  9. #159
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by BJG
    Sorry, that's what I meant.

    I don't think Cano's performance was at all flukey last year, I just question the consistent ceiling that many here are talking about for a guy who is so BA dependant.

    Why do we question players who are BA dependant? Rod Carew was BA dependant. Tony Gwynn was BA dependant whose high walk total was 82 back in '87 IIRC. Why do we knock players who can hit and don't rely on walks to float their average or OBP? What is wrong with being a good hitter who takes what the pitchers give and utilize the whole field? I just don't get this forums aversion to such players. I don't believe that I or anyone who feels like I do should have to tolerate a low BA or high SO rates for the sake of OBP. I like Cano as is. A guy who will take what the pitcher gives him and drive it to all fields. The only problem that I see him encountering is if he starts to think of himself as a homerun hitter and proceeds to lift/pull everything like Posada now does. If Cano remains a gap to gap hitter, then the skys the limit.
    "If you are falling off a cliff, you might as well try to fly"....JS

  10. #160

    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by SINCE77 2
    Why do we question players who are BA dependant? Rod Carew was BA dependant. Tony Gwynn was BA dependant whose high walk total was 82 back in '87 IIRC.
    Wow, those are particularly relevant comparisons. (BTW, you don't seem to know much about Rod Carew).

    I doubt anyone would question Cano if he can become a .340 hitter. But reaching base as rarely as Cano did last year isn't very good, even though he did hit quite well. A guy with a .320 obp uses up an awful lot of outs. If you hit as well as a guy like Gwynn does, not adding too many walks on top of it (and Gwynn still had an obp 50 pts about his career average, as opposed to 20 pts for Cano last year), you're getting on base at a pretty decent clip as is. But if you don't hit that well, you're not. If Cano develops into that kind of hitter, he'll be awfully good walks or not. But the odds of him becoming that good are awfully small. And if he doesn't, without walking his offensive value will be limited.

  11. #161
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Rod Carew batted .328 with a obp of .393 in his career which is very good

    Tony Gwynn batted .338 with an obp of .388 in his career which is very good.. not to mention being #20th all time in BA (which is amazing in this era) and 7 batting titles...

    To ask for Cano to be anywhere near these players abilities is asking a lot but to be near would still be good

  12. #162
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Mxylsplk
    Wow, those are particularly relevant comparisons. (BTW, you don't seem to know much about Rod Carew).

    I doubt anyone would question Cano if he can become a .340 hitter. But reaching base as rarely as Cano did last year isn't very good, even though he did hit quite well. A guy with a .320 obp uses up an awful lot of outs. If you hit as well as a guy like Gwynn does, not adding too many walks on top of it (and Gwynn still had an obp 50 pts about his career average, as opposed to 20 pts for Cano last year), you're getting on base at a pretty decent clip as is. But if you don't hit that well, you're not. If Cano develops into that kind of hitter, he'll be awfully good walks or not. But the odds of him becoming that good are awfully small. And if he doesn't, without walking his offensive value will be limited.


    First off, what don't I know about Rod Carew? He averaged about 45-50 walks per season, hit lots of singles, doubles and a few triples and didn't strikeout much. His numbers tell the whole story. Same with Gwynn. Neither hit many homers and both utilized the whole field. Am I missing something?

    Cano is 22yo. If he stays with the same stroke throughout his career I don't see any reason for him to not to be able to maintain a solid OBP as well as a high average. My point is that we shouldn't automatically dismiss Cano out of hand because his OBP is at .320 at the time. What would many members on these boards have thought of Gwynn in his first few years in the majors? Would they have called him a player with limited offensive upside because he didn't walk much? Another player lacking pop while being too dependant upon BA and dismissed him. Same with Carew? I for one consider Cano's approach a breath of fresh air amidst the overabundance of SO/HR/Walk players.
    "If you are falling off a cliff, you might as well try to fly"....JS

  13. #163

    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by SINCE77 2
    First off, what don't I know about Rod Carew? He averaged about 45-50 walks per season, hit lots of singles, doubles and a few triples and didn't strikeout much. His numbers tell the whole story. Same with Gwynn. Neither hit many homers and both utilized the whole field. Am I missing something?
    The guy had an obp 70 points above his ba. That's not remotely ba dependent.
    Quote Originally Posted by SINCE77 2
    Cano is 22yo. If he stays with the same stroke throughout his career I don't see any reason for him to not to be able to maintain a solid OBP as well as a high average. My point is that we shouldn't automatically dismiss Cano out of hand because his OBP is at .320 at the time.
    The very post you quoted merely "questioned the consistent ceiling" thrown around for Cano. How you got that as automatically dismissing anything is beyond me.
    Quote Originally Posted by SINCE77 2
    What would many members on these boards have thought of Gwynn in his first few years in the majors? Would they have called him a player with limited offensive upside because he didn't walk much? Another player lacking pop while being too dependant upon BA and dismissed him. Same with Carew?
    Aside from the silliness of your continued comparison to Cano to of two of the best hitters in a long long time, considering that Gwynn put up an obp of .337 in his first partial season and .355 in his second partial season (those two combine to about the same at-bats as Cano's rookie year), and Carew was at .341, I don't think people would have been as concerned about them being ba dependent. More relevantly, the fact that two first-ballot hall of famers were great hitters without walking a tremendous amount is a remarkably foolish reason to argue that walking very rarely does not limit a player's offensive value. Cano may very well improve. Young players often do. But given his great lack of patience as a hitter, it's reasonable to be concerned about how high he can really go. The careers of Rod Carew and Tony Gwynn don't really change that.

  14. #164

    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by SINCE77 2
    Why do we question players who are BA dependant? Rod Carew was BA dependant. Tony Gwynn was BA dependant whose high walk total was 82 back in '87 IIRC. Why do we knock players who can hit and don't rely on walks to float their average or OBP? What is wrong with being a good hitter who takes what the pitchers give and utilize the whole field? I just don't get this forums aversion to such players. I don't believe that I or anyone who feels like I do should have to tolerate a low BA or high SO rates for the sake of OBP. I like Cano as is. A guy who will take what the pitcher gives him and drive it to all fields. The only problem that I see him encountering is if he starts to think of himself as a homerun hitter and proceeds to lift/pull everything like Posada now does. If Cano remains a gap to gap hitter, then the skys the limit.
    I know we've already been thorugh this in this thread, but I have no aversion to Tony Gwynn or Rod Carew. If Cano can play until he's 40 and maintain a batting average of .330 or better at 2B for most of his career, he's a hall of famer.

    There are a couple of problems, though.

    1. I'm not sure how pointing out that Gwynn walked 82 times in 680 plate appearences is an argument that Gwynn didn't walk a lot. That's well, well above average. Cano walked 16 times in 551 plate appearences this year. He did walk a passable amount in rookie ball, but the rest of his minor league career doesn't give any indication that he's going to be good at this. He will get better, but when you are starting from such a low baseline, better is still likely to be bad. Carew actually walked at an above average rate for his career.

    Basically, it's true to say that Gwynn and Carew could be succesful without walking 100 times a year, but there really isn't a lot of evidence that Cano is like Gwynn or Carew. At the same point in their careers, it looked to me like Carew and Gwynn would both hit for a higher average and walk more than Cano.

    2. Even for the best hitters, batting average fluctuates from year to year. This is the main point. It has nothing to do with Cano trying to hit for more power or striking out more or hitting for a lower average or anything like that. It has to do with how batting average changes from year to year and what effect that has on your numbers when such a large percentage of the performance is tied into batting average.

    Look at Gwynn's and Carew's careers. There are year to year fluctuations of over 50 points in batting average. This is what happens in baseball. The difference between Cano's batting average last year and a .280 average is 10 hits. That's it. 10 hits over 522 AB. If Cano hits .280, he's a bad player...same k rate, same Iso, etc. It doesn't take much for that 20 point swing, and the margin for error is just much smaller than if he walked more but was otherwise the exact same player because he doesn't have the cushion that the walks are providing.

    Within that context, Cano is quite capable of having a very good year, but he's also quite capable of having a bad year.

    3. As good a hitter as Gwynn was, his best season ever isn't even close to being one of the best single seasons in major league history. The guy hit .394, but his 169 OPS+ is miles out of the top 100 (which ends with a tie at 190). It's not top 100 in OBP either, so it isn't just about the power. These are the things that correlate to run scoring, and that's the point of offense. Gwynn was a corner outfielder, so there really shouldn't be any positional issues when comparing him to all-time best seasons. In other words, .350/.450/.550 is better than .350/.400/.550.

    This is not an argument that Cano won't be a solid major league player. All I'm saying is that some of the projections of his future are pie in the sky when you consider both the likely fluctuations in his production year to year and the likely cap on his peak. A mix of good, average, and even below average years is probably likely.
    Last edited by BJG; 01-13-06 at 02:35 PM.

  15. #165
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Cano 05: .297/.320/.458 - 34 doubles, 4 triples, 14 HR - 16 BB in 522 AB (Age 22)

    Carew 67: .292/.341/.409 - 22 doubles, 7 triples, 8 HR - 37 BB in 514 AB (Age 21)
    Carew 68: .273/.312/.347 - 27 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR - 26 BB in 461 AB (Age 22)
    Carew 69: .332/.386/.467 - 30 doubles, 4 triples, 8 HR - 37 BB in 458 AB (Age 23)

    The main difference between the two is power and walk rates. Carew was able to increase his during his career, but he also started with a better rate in his early years.

  16. #166

    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by 38Special
    Cano 05: .297/.320/.458 - 34 doubles, 4 triples, 14 HR - 16 BB in 522 AB (Age 22)

    Carew 67: .292/.341/.409 - 22 doubles, 7 triples, 8 HR - 37 BB in 514 AB (Age 21)
    Carew 68: .273/.312/.347 - 27 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR - 26 BB in 461 AB (Age 22)
    Carew 69: .332/.386/.467 - 30 doubles, 4 triples, 8 HR - 37 BB in 458 AB (Age 23)

    The main difference between the two is power and walk rates. Carew was able to increase his during his career, but he also started with a better rate in his early years.
    Carew was also a better hitter for average in the minors. I don' have his minor league walk rates. You also have to look at the era.

  17. #167
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by SINCE77 2
    Why do we question players who are BA dependant? Rod Carew was BA dependant. Tony Gwynn was BA dependant whose high walk total was 82 back in '87 IIRC. Why do we knock players who can hit and don't rely on walks to float their average or OBP? What is wrong with being a good hitter who takes what the pitchers give and utilize the whole field? I just don't get this forums aversion to such players. I don't believe that I or anyone who feels like I do should have to tolerate a low BA or high SO rates for the sake of OBP. I like Cano as is. A guy who will take what the pitcher gives him and drive it to all fields. The only problem that I see him encountering is if he starts to think of himself as a homerun hitter and proceeds to lift/pull everything like Posada now does. If Cano remains a gap to gap hitter, then the skys the limit.
    Getting On base is the goal and a walk is just as good as a hit, so why not look at OBP which factors both? If you are worried about a player only getting walks and one bag that is what slugging is for, thus OPS is created.

  18. #168

    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by NJASDJDH
    To answer the question that was posed to you, prOPS is based on batted ball types and average outcomes of those types. Basically, based on the number of line drives, fly balls, ground balls, etc. that Cano hit, his line should have been XYZ. Of course, prOPS isn't perfect and there are some hitters who will consistently underperform or overperform their prOPS as I don't think it is speed adjusted (one example of something that can throw these projections off). Additionally, it's almost false to just make the statement that "drastic improvements don't happen very often" without acknowledging that Cano is at the point in his career where drastic improvements are more common and real.

    BJG, the ages you gave when talking about minor league levels would be ideal ages for players who are prospects, not for the average minor leaguer or average player, which is what your post made it seem like you were saying to me.

    When looking at Cano's career minor league statistics it is important to break it down further in order to see why last year makes sense. If you separate Cano's minor league career into lower minors (A+ and below) and upper minors (AA and above) you will see that Cano made marked improvements upon graduating to the upper levels of the minor league system and his ML production doesn't come as as much of a surprise. As I have been saying for quite some time now, Cano HAS in fact been a very good hitter (all things considered) since the beginning of the 2004 season, so we're now at about 2 years of data, is that enough? I'm not saying he's going to hit as well as he did last year, but I am saying I think that about 1000 ABs should be enough for people to stop commenting on his performance as heavily flukey.

    The last point I would like to make is that if you look even more closely at Cano's minor league track record, the only year you can really find fault in, I believe, is '03 when he played in the FSL, which is an extremely tough environment hit in.
    An adjustment is made for speed, too.
    And while last year may have been absed on all skill, his prOPS is really in line with his minor league numbers
    I'm not saying its a guarantee, but I dont buy that hes a future superstar either

  19. #169
    Ace of the Staff JeterRodriguezSheff's Avatar
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    But it can it take into account how hard the ball was hit? If it cant than it counts a weak grounder that was hit in the right place and a scorched off the bat grounder the same right? Then it also counts a weak liner the same as a hard liner. Unless im missing something.

  20. #170
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by SINCE77 2
    Why do we question players who are BA dependant? Rod Carew was BA dependant. Tony Gwynn was BA dependant whose high walk total was 82 back in '87 IIRC. Why do we knock players who can hit and don't rely on walks to float their average or OBP? What is wrong with being a good hitter who takes what the pitchers give and utilize the whole field? I just don't get this forums aversion to such players. I don't believe that I or anyone who feels like I do should have to tolerate a low BA or high SO rates for the sake of OBP. I like Cano as is. A guy who will take what the pitcher gives him and drive it to all fields. The only problem that I see him encountering is if he starts to think of himself as a homerun hitter and proceeds to lift/pull everything like Posada now does. If Cano remains a gap to gap hitter, then the skys the limit.
    I might have been beat to this, but the reason you'd rather have a player who's less BA dependent is that moreso than other stats, BA has a low year to year correlation meaning that random swings that have nothing to do with the quality of the hitter can alter the hitter's value. Things such as walks and HRs are much more consistent from year to year and so you don't have to worry about it. Basically, since BA is built up off of putting the ball in play, the defense you're facing plays a role in how your BA appears.
    "I love Hughes, really I'm not kidding here, I am in love with him, I'm a straight male and I don't even know what he looks like, but I am in love."-JeterRodriguezSheff

  21. #171
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    Quote Originally Posted by homer2931
    An adjustment is made for speed, too.
    And while last year may have been absed on all skill, his prOPS is really in line with his minor league numbers
    I'm not saying its a guarantee, but I dont buy that hes a future superstar either
    I wasn't sure about the speed adjustment, thanks. IIRC, Cano's MLEs are more in line with what he did this past season than with his prOPS, for what it's worth. I don't think he projects as a future star, but I do think he can be a very good player who makes an All Star game or two.
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  22. #172
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    I think it's safe to say we haven't seen how good he can be. We must remember Cano played almost EVERYDAY after he was called up to the majors and was never given off days against tough/any lefties. That lack of rest might explain the poor August he had, which other than his first 3 weeks in the bigs, were easily his worst weeks of his season. I also feel good about his ability to make contact, considering he doesn't add a high number of strikeouts to his low BB total. I don't worry so much about his OBP since it was dragged down by 7 poors weeks and Cano really isn't going to be a leadoff or #2 hitter.

  23. #173
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    Re: The Potential of Robinson Cano

    And that's why walks are important.. a player who takes lots of walks can have 7 bad weeks and still get on base because walk rates are a lot more consistent.. a player which relies on BA will suffer in getting on base should he reach a slump

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