The Star Has Landed: Why Robinson Cano Is The Best Second Basemen in Baseball

May 31, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

It was inevitable that the guy often described as “Mr. Potential” and “Future Great” would reach the point in his career where people have finally recognized that he’s a legitimate superstar.

Robinson Cano is 27-years-old and is already establishing himself as one of the best players in the American League.

Along with Miguel Cabrera and Justin Morneau, Cano should be one of the front-runners for the AL MVP award. And considering how Chase Utley and Dustin Pedroia are both having somewhat off years, Cano can now reasonably be considered as one of the best, if not the best second basemen in baseball.

In addition to his 11 home runs and 40 RBI, he’s also boasting a .363 average to go along with a .405 OBP. And to be frank, while these numbers are superior to Cano’s average seasonal totals thus far in his career, the remarkable start he’s off to should come as no surprise.

Cano is entering the prime of his career and finally seems comfortable with the notion that he’s an integral part of one of the most recognizable franchises in all of sports.

Earlier in his career, the considerable hype that surrounded the infinitely talented Cano seemed to overwhelm him as he was largely inconsistent while still putting up stellar numbers.

Kevin Long, the Yankees hitting coach, has worked extensively with Cano, whose mechanics in the batter’s box had always been questionable. Long helped quicken Cano’s swing and closed off his stance to help him cover more of the plate while still not losing control of the inside corner.

The changes have helped Cano dramatically.

His defense, which has been a point of concern since his rookie year, has improved radically as he only has one error all season since committing 17 in 2005, his rookie year.

Cano is doing everything Joe Girardi can ask of one of his younger stars. He has come up with key hits since the onset of the season and recently hit a grand slam during his first stint batting clean-up in the absence of a struggling Alex Rodriguez.

The reason the Yankees got off to such a good start this year is due largely in part to Cano’s brilliant offensive output in the first quarter of the season. Mark Teixeira got off to his perennial bad start and Alex Rodriguez’s power numbers have taken a significant dip.

Offensively, Robinson Cano was the nucleus of the Yankees all by himself. And much to the delight of Yankee fans, the second basemen was more than apt to take on that role.

It’s no secret that the Yankees are a significantly older team; especially with today’s game emphasizing athleticism and speed.

Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada, or “The Core Four” are all in their mid-thirties and above. Alex Rodriguez is beginning to exit his prime. Luckily, the Yankees still have Curtis Granderson and Teixeira to shoulder much of the offense and play marvelous defense at their respective positions.

But the Yankees have a critical piece in Cano who is on the fast track to one day emerge as the greatest second basemen the Yankees have ever had.

And if he someday gets to that point, I still wouldn’t be surprised if people said his potential had yet to be reached.

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