2010 All Star Robinson Cano is in the midst of his best year as a professional baseball player, yet he remains one the the game’s hardest workers. In his early years, he was constantly trade bait that other teams rejected. He is now a strong candidate for the team and league MVP honors. Cano has made tremendous progress defensively and has changed his willingness to go after bad pitches to a very disciplined hitting style.
Anchoring the five slot behind Alex Rodriquez, Cano is hitting .324 with a career high 28 homeruns and 101 RBI’s. Down the stretch, his hitting has carried the team with veteran stars Rodriquez, Teixeira and Jeter not having their typical success.
Success did not come up easily for Cano. Born Robinson Jose Cano Mercedes in San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic on October 22, 1982, Cano was signed by the Yankees in 2001. The 6’ 205 pound second baseman was one of the prospects offered to the Texas Rangers in the Alex Rodriquez deal and later offered to the Royals in a deal to bring Jose Beltran to New York. Both teams passed on Cano.
When Tony Womack had difficulties handling second base, Cano was called up to the big team in May 2005. He had a solid rookie season but was prone to strikeouts. He finished second in Rookie of The Year balloting to Houston Street. Cano made a nice turnaround in 2006, batting .342, just two points behind Derek Jeter.
After another solid year in 2007, the Yankees signed Cano to a six year contract worth $55 million. Unfortunately, Cano struggled in 2008 slumping to .270 and striking out twice as many times as he walked. Cano immediately went to work tightening his strike zone and in 2009, he established himself not only as a dangerous hitter but as a hitter with power, belting 25 homers and hitting .320 for the World Champions.
His play this season has been inspirational. Defensively, he and Jeter have become a stellar double play combo and he has gained range as he has matured. In 2009, Jeter and Cano became the first shortstop – 2nd baseman combo to each have 200 hits in the same season. If Jeter comes back to form, they could well reach the milestone again.
ROBINSON CANO CAREER STATS