On Saturday, Robinson Cano went 2 for 4 and hit his 2nd HR of what has been a extremely painful season for the Mariners second baseman and his fantasy owners. But could the longball on Saturday be a sign of things to come? I definitely would not count on it.
I was very down on Cano entering the year and this is what I said about him in the pre-season: “It seems to me as if Cano is just in the decline phase of his career and I personally would not have him on any of my teams as his name value exceeds what I perceive to be his actual value.”
If you thought the 1990’s had a lot of bad trends with nu-metal music, frosted tips, and playing pogs at recess, then wait till you see Cano’s laundry list of horrible trends this season that give him little hope of returning to fantasy stardom.
- With 4 straight seasons from 2010-13 of ISO marks above .200, Cano’s power suffered a severe decline last season to a .139 ISO, and this season it is even worse at .094.
- Cano entered the 2014 season with a career ground ball/fly ball ratio of 1.54. Last season, he ended up with a ratio of 2.13 and also has the same 2.13 ratio so far this season. Hitting the ball on the ground more is an indicator of his loss in power.
- The average distance on his HR + fly balls has declined from 292 feet in 2013, to 279 feet in 2014, to 272 feet this season. The loss in average distance here is also indicative of his loss in power.
- After having walk rates of 8.8%, 9.5%, and 9.2% from 2012-14, Cano is walking only 5.9% of the time this year.
- Even though last season Cano saw a big dip in his power, he still showed great contact skills with a 10.2% strikeout rate (2nd best of his career). However, along with a further dip in power this year, he is now striking out at a career high rate of 15.6%.
- With a .323 career BABIP, Cano has long been able to be well above the average player in this regard. But he currently has a .297 mark this year, which would be the 2nd lowest of his career.
- The low BABIP this year can be attributed to only going to the opposite field 18.8% of the time this year, which would be the lowest mark of his career and well below his career rate of 26.8%.
- Not using the opposite field as much along with the career high ground ball/fly ball ratio and lower BABIP suggests that he is pulling the ball on the ground a lot into shifted defenses for easy outs.
With all this being said, if you’re a sad Cano owner then it would be perfectly fine to bench him, or even better if you can find an owner hopeful of a Cano rebound to take him off your hands. For the rest of the season from May 31 onward, I will give Cano a very unexciting line of: .271 AVG, 8 HR, 47 RBI, 55 R, 3 SB, 68 K, and 30 BB.
So in homage to Cano’s agent, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, I leave Cano and his owners with this:
If you’re having baseball problems, I feel bad for you son, you got 99 problems, and a pitch is one
Now let’s see what else happened on Saturday’s slate…