Sunday, September 20, 2009

Curious About Canó

Haven't blogged much at all about the Yanks this year, but there's a curious fact that has spurned me to change that. It's been a good year up till this point, especially their long run of approximately .750 ball this summer. Among a slew of players putting up good years both behind the plate and in the field has been Robinson Canó, hitting a robust .323 as of yesterday with the best power numbers and slugging percentages of his career. However, when you glance over to the situational statistics, you find something very, very alarming: he is hitting very, very poorly with runners on base, to the tune of .259 with runners on base, and .211 with runners in scoring position.

The more you look at those situational stats, the worse they get: .231 with the bases loaded, a situation that usually favours hitters, in which they almost invariably put up good numbers. The worst of all those stats for Robbie this year is undoubtedly that of a man of third base with less than two outs: .160 average with a .172 on-base percentage. By contrast, when the bases are empty, Robbie has been scorching: .378 batting average. Leading off an inning? .424, with a .771 slugging percentage.

The strange thing about all these numbers is that they are a complete anomaly when compared to the rest of his career; last year, for starters, he was .423 with a runner on third base. He has certainly performed in run-scoring situations throughout his career; naturally, I have no answers as to why he's put up such poor numbers in 2009. Of course, it's not to say he's not performed at all in pressure situations; I can readily recall two walk-off hits from Robbie: a laser-shot 3-run homer into the right-field seats, and I was in the house to see his game-winning double into right-center a few weeks ago. So, between that and his career numbers, I'm not suggesting that Robbie's incapable of, or has a career of not, producing with men on base.

But I definitely have to be a bit concerned about the 2009 version of Canó, considering how well he's hitting to start rallies than he is when he needs to keep them going.

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