For the third year in a row, and the fourth time in his career, Robinson Cano turned in a .370+ wOBA. His .375 mark was good for a 133 wRC+ this year. Isn’t it a little ho hum at this point? While we shouldn’t take it for granted, we almost expect Cano to do this well. His swing is so sweet and features a perfect blend of contact and power that is jealousy inducing. He was second (to Dustin Pedroia in both categories) in wOBA/wRC+ among AL 2B, and led the bunch in slugging and IsoP. All told, he was worth 5.6 fWAR. So, how did he get here?
Cano absolutely spanked the ball this year, turning in a career high 22.3% line drive rate. His FB% dropped big time from last year (31.0% this year, 36.5% in ’10), but was just one below his career average of 32%. But, Cano managed to drive the ball big time when he hit it in the air. His HR/FB%, 17.0, was the highest of his career and continued an upward trend that started in 2009.
In terms of month by month performance, Cano was pretty damn great all over the place. He started the year hot, hitting to a .417 wOBA/163 wRC+ in April. He slumped in May, wOBAing just .308 and wRC+ing just 88. In June through September, Cano turned in the following splits: .371/131; .365/127; .431/172; and .355/120. There was one big valley, then a lot of peaks. Cano was most definitely consistent this year.
Despite all this great stuff, there are still things we could be concerned about with Cano. His uBB% is still low at just 4.03%. His Out of Zone swing% shot up to 41.6% this year. To give that some context, the league average rose 1.3% from 2010-2011. Cano’s O-Swing% ran up 5.1%. It would appear that Cano’s swing is almost “too good,” if that makes any sense. He has so much confidence in it that he’ll swing at just about everything. Sometimes, he’ll put good wood on it, but other times it means he’s chased out of the zone and gotten himself out.
Honestly, there isn’t much to say about Cano that we haven’t already said this year. He’s an absolutely great hitter and any complaint we can levy against him is going to be small. The lack of on-base skills is worrisome, but as long as he keeps his contact and power skills, he’ll make up for that lack. When the contact and power skills start to diminish, I’ll get more concerned.
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