Robinson Cano
Robinson Cano
36-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Seattle Mariners
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Cano is a timely reminder to be wary of a big spike in power, especially in today's landscape. In 2016, everything went perfect for the veteran, as he simultaneously recorded his second-best HR/FB rate and second-highest flyball rate of his career, resulting in a career-best 39 long balls. Last season, both predictably dropped, and Cano fell 16 homers short of the previous season's total. He's still a productive player, but with 117 batters bopping at least 20 homers, Cano's days of being a top-60 player are likely history. Cano is still hard to whiff, so he remains a batting-average and run-producing asset, though with three steals since 2015, he's a liability in a category where it helps to get a contribution from his position. In 2017, Cano played in 150 games, the first time since 2006 he didn't play in at least 156. This may not seem like a big deal, but at age 35, durability could become an issue. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Mariners in December 2013.
Resting in series finale
2BSeattle Mariners
September 30, 2018
Cano is out of the lineup Sunday against the Rangers, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports.
With little at stake in the season finale, the Mariners will give several veterans the day off, with Cano included among the lot. He'll cede the keystone to Kristopher Negron, who checks in as Seattle's No. 7 hitter. Though Seattle fell short of notching a playoff spot, Cano did his part to keep the club competitive when he returned from suspension Aug. 14, batting a sizzling .317/.363/.497 across 41 games.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .726 592 67 17 78 0 .265 .318 .408
Since 2016vs Right .901 1119 163 55 172 1 .307 .367 .534
2018vs Left .893 124 16 2 23 0 .333 .411 .481
2018vs Right .818 224 28 8 27 0 .287 .353 .465
2017vs Left .557 193 16 4 21 0 .208 .259 .298
2017vs Right .891 455 63 19 76 1 .312 .371 .519
2016vs Left .770 275 35 11 34 0 .275 .316 .453
2016vs Right .955 440 72 28 69 0 .312 .370 .584
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS on Road
OPS on Road
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
Since 2016Home .800 820 110 33 110 0 .277 .334 .466
Since 2016Away .877 891 120 39 140 1 .306 .365 .512
2018Home .795 155 19 5 19 0 .284 .348 .447
2018Away .885 193 25 5 31 0 .320 .394 .491
2017Home .802 317 42 11 45 0 .280 .344 .458
2017Away .780 331 37 12 52 1 .281 .332 .448
2016Home .800 348 49 17 46 0 .272 .319 .481
2016Away .962 367 58 22 57 0 .323 .379 .583
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Stat Review
How does Robinson Cano compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Who'd have thought Cano's career high in home runs would come when he was playing his home games at Safeco Field? Well, in 2016, he did just that, while also reaching his best runs total in a much-improved Mariners offense. The long balls were backed up by his highest flyball rate since 2010, and they were helped by more time removed from his double sports hernia surgery to fix the woes that sapped his power in 2015 and perhaps 2014. The 34-year-old has compiled a batting average lower than .290 just twice in 12 years. Can he sustain such high averages as he ages while keeping low walk rates (6.4 percent and 6.6 percent the last two years)? He hits the ball hard enough to believe he will. Cano won't realistically revisit the double-digit steals from 2014, but he's arguably the most stable four-category second baseman not named Jose Altuve. Cano warrants second-round consideration.
Cano helped torpedo the Mariners season last year with a near three-month slump that made him look like he was already washed up in the second year of his 10-year deal. From June 22 onward, he hit .319/.371/.529 for a .901 OPS and 19 home runs. Cano's walk, strikeout and contact rates all took big hits, skewed in part by his early woes, but he finished with seven more homers than in 2014 and only three fewer doubles. Despite the awful start, his 21 homers still ranked second in the majors among second basemen. For the second year in a row he hit better at Safeco Field than on the road. Cano's impact on the offense was dramatic. On June 21, Seattle ranked 27th in OPS and 28th in runs. In the span of his run, they ranked fourth and ninth, respectively. Cano played most of September with a sports hernia that required offseason surgery (and still hit .305 with seven homers in the month) but is expected to be ready for spring training.
Cano's power was the subject of much debate last offseason after he signed a 10-year deal with the Mariners. But he actually showed more power at Safeco Field than on the road with nine homers and a .470 SLG at home in 37 fewer at-bats than on the road (five home runs, .440 SLG). Still, his homers and doubles were the fewest since 2008. As for his average, he simply picked up where he left off in New York, batting .314 for the second year in a row. He also struck out in just 10.2% of his plate appearances, a five-year low. Cano's RBI count dropped by 25 thanks to his offensively inferior new team. Perhaps that changes this year with the addition of Nelson Cruz to the lineup. With Cruz hitting behind him, it shouldn't take much for Cano to surpass 100 runs scored again. If nothing else, pitchers can't simply pitch around Cano as they too often did last season (his 9.2% walk rate was the second highest of his career).
It was more of the same for Cano for 2013, as he put up his fifth consecutive season with a batting average over .300 and a slugging percentage over .500. At age 31, Cano is showing absolutely no signs of decline, and he remains the no-doubt top second baseman out there. The Mariners made a big splash in free agency by signing Cano to a 10-year, $240 million contract in December, a pact that could take him through the rest of his big league career. Although Cano's new home park in Seattle has traditionally limited right-handed power hitters, Safeco Field typically plays below average for left-handed power as well. As a result, there is legitimate concern that some of Cano's home runs could turn into doubles, which has been the case throughout his career away from Yankee Stadium.
Cano was ripped in the New York press for his 3-for-40 playoff bellyflop, but he had another fantastic regular season, putting up a career-high .929 OPS, and setting career marks in homers (33) and runs scored (105). Nitpickers would mention that Cano tied his career high in strikeouts with 96, or wonder whether the postseason will have any carryover effect. Ultimately, Cano is still squarely in his prime at age 30, he's played 159 or more games for the past six consecutive seasons, and there's no reason to think he won't produce at near-MVP levels again in 2013.
Last season was another MVP-level performance for Cano, as he finished in the top 10 in the AL in RBI, runs scored, slugging percentage, and OPS. Cano did strike out a career-high 96 times and his contact rate slipped to a career-low 85 percent as a result. Further, his walk rate dropped fairly dramatically, but he's got such great hands and bat speed that another season of top-level production should be in order. At 29, Cano is still well in his prime, and the Yankees will continue to provide him with plenty of opportunities to drive in and score a ton of runs as a key member of their potential lineup.
If you can find a flaw in Cano's game, please let us know. His MVP-caliber 2010 campaign featured career highs in home runs, RBI and OPS; and there's little reason to expect him to slow down, especially as his plate discipline continues to improve. OK, there may be one blemish - his lack of stolen bases - but when you're getting ridiculous production in the other categories, it's easy to overlook. Don't be surprised if he comes off the board as a first-round selection on draft day.
Cano shed the “questionable motivation” label he acquired during a lackluster 2008 campaign, blasting a career-high 25 homers and hitting .320/.352/.520. We’re most encouraged by his improving plate discipline; his OBP was nearly 50 points higher than 2008 and he cut down on his number of strikeouts for the second straight season despite logging 40 more at-bats. If he can start hitting with runners in scoring position (a paltry .207 last season) his RBI total of 85 could see a boost as well.
Motivational issues landed Cano in manager Joe Girardi's doghouse during a lackluster 2008. Since his forgettable season, Cano has taken to a more strict offseason workout regimen in an effort to improve his power, speed and agility. While Cano's plate discipline still needs work (.305 OBP), he cut back on his strikeouts last season and his power potential along with improved motivation and a very capable lineup around him suggest that a bounce back into the upper echelon of fantasy second basemen is in order. Be ready to pounce on draft day if he slides down the board on the heels of a disappointing campaign.
Had the Yankees been willing to part with Cano, they may have been able to pull off a blockbuster deal with the Twins during the winter meetings and land Johan Santana. Keeping Cano wasn't the worst decision the front office has ever made, though we'd still like to see improved plate discipline (39 BB in 669 plate appearances). To his credit, Cano made strides in that department last season and is trending in the right direction. Even if his OBP tops out in the .350 range, he'll do just fine given his combination of power paired with the big bats hitting in front of him. Expect another season of improvement as the maturation process continues.
Cano produced consistently behind the big guns in the middle of the Yankees' lineup for the second straight season. The 24-year-old finished third in the American League with a .342 batting average, but there are concerns about his patience at the plate, as he's walked in just 3.2 percent of his plate appearances in his young career. Still, the second base job is his for the foreseeable future and he brings good power to a position that never has enough to go around.
Cano got better and better after coming up in early May, and if not for the dominant performance of Oakland closer Huston Street, he would have been the Rookie of the Year. Cano provides solid production across the board, and while he'll never contribute the big steal numbers of some of the elite fantasy middle infielders, he's likely to add a bit of power as he matures. Cano should get plenty of chances to score and drive in runs in the powerful Yankees lineup, which should mitigate some concerns about his poor eye at the plate.
Cano was prematurely promoted to Triple-A as a showcase for a possible trade. He remains the top infield prospect for the Yankees, but another year of seasoning will do him some good as he develops more power and fills out. Still, it's hard to see him as the Yankee second baseman of the future - he's much more likely to be dealt before then.
Although Cano is still very young for his level, his bat has regressed at each level, and his defense is pretty questionable to begin with. While he's still pegged by the Yankees for middle infield play, he might eventually be moved to third base or the outfield.
Cano emerged last season despite the fact he didn't hit up to his standard. He's currently rated as the best infield prospect in the Yankee system by Baseball America. His strengths are his bat control, a strong arm, and fast hands. The hands help him in both sides of the game as he’s able to grasp and release quickly in the field, and offensively, he’s able to generate bat speed that should eventually result in home run power as he matures and fills out. Still very young, he may be moved to third base as he rises through the organization. The Yankees don’t have much need for middle-infielders in the near future. He’ll begin 2003 in the Florida State League and could make the jump to Double-A by 2004.
More Fantasy News
Four hits in win
2BSeattle Mariners
September 28, 2018
Cano went 4-for-5 with a double, two runs and two RBI to help Seattle to a 12-6 victory over Texas on Friday.
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Blasts 10th homer
2BSeattle Mariners
September 24, 2018
Cano went 1-for-4 with a solo home run Monday against the Athletics.
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Hits three-run homer against Rangers
2BSeattle Mariners
September 22, 2018
Cano went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI against the Rangers on Saturday.
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Drives in three in win over Astros
2BSeattle Mariners
September 19, 2018
Cano went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBI in Wednesday's 9-0 rout of the Astros.
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Three-hit night
2BSeattle Mariners
September 19, 2018
Cano went 3-for-4 with two doubles in Tuesday's loss to the Astros.
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