• Cano, Wang & The Debate

    Posted by on June 19th, 2006 · Comments (12)

    Lately, when I look at Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang, all I can think about is the Scouts versus Sabermetrics Debate.

    The scouts say that Chien-Ming Wang has nasty stuff and nerves of steel – and should be a very good pitcher for the Yankees. The stats say that Chien-Ming Wang’s low strikeout rates should be a red flag – and that he’ll always be at the mercy of luck to determine if he’ll have a good outing or not.

    The scouts say that Robinson Cano has fast hands and a sweet swing and should be the next Rod Carew. The stats say that Robinson Cano’s low walk rate means that he’ll have to hit .330 just to be an average offensive player.

    So, if you’re the Yankees, which road do you follow? Do you go by the advanced numbers and trade these players while they still have value? Or, do you listen to the scouts and keep your home-grown talent?

    I think we all know that it’s the latter. Cashman has said that Cano and Wang are not available.

    That’s fine. There comes a time to make a call and the Yankees have made their decision. I can roll with that.

    Still, part of me wonders – “If the Twins offered Johan Santana in exchange for Cano and Wang, should the Yankees make that deal?”

    It’s a fun question, no?

    Comments on Cano, Wang & The Debate

    1. Jen
      June 19th, 2006 | 5:52 pm

      Out of curiosity, what did the stats & scouts say about the last group of homegrowns to make it (Bernie, Jeter, Posada, Mo, Pettitte)?

    2. brockdc
      June 19th, 2006 | 6:01 pm

      Y-E-S. Santana is still relatively young and would be the Yanks undisputed ace for the next five years. As you’ve already stated, Steve – though Wang and Cano are good, young players, they still have many question marks. Wang has great difficulty with putting hitters away and Cano’s OBP is VERY mediocre.

    3. brockdc
      June 19th, 2006 | 6:04 pm

      Now you’ve got me fantasizing about an ’07 1-2-3-4 of Santana, Mulder, Mussina, and Hughes. Okay, back to reality.

    4. Nick from Washington Heights
      June 19th, 2006 | 6:12 pm

      yes, you make that trade. After making that deal, you call up Theo Epstein and inform him that you are better than him and this is the proof.

      Johan Santana is the most dominant pitcher in baseball. He’s ridonkulous.

    5. hopbitters
      June 19th, 2006 | 6:34 pm

      At the same time that Cano doesn’t walk much, he doesn’t strike out much, either. And while scouts and stats may be at odds on what they’ll do in the future, neither has ever been capable of being accurately predictive. All they can do is illustrate what has happened in the past (and some not even that) and look at trends. Even at that, the scouts and the stats seem to agree on what the two have done. Both players have positive RSAA/RCAA that look to be on the upswing and they are both getting their share, so to speak, of WS. That would seem to agree with the scouts, no? It’s all in the interpretation.

    6. rbj
      June 19th, 2006 | 6:49 pm

      And you sign Womack to play secondbase?

    7. June 19th, 2006 | 9:56 pm

      Wang’s strikeout numbers were good in the minors. I’ve been surprised for a year now that he doesn’t strike out more batters. Carew didn’t walk that much either, so there’s nothing wrong with Cano being the next Carew.

      And yes, I’d trade the two of them in a minute for Santana.

    8. Yu Hsing Chen
      June 20th, 2006 | 3:40 am

      If it’s for Johan Santana right now anyone is going to go for that trade, except that before Wang and Cano makes it to their new home it will be burned to the ground by every angry rioting Twins fan ….

      In a year or two though, one might think different

    9. June 20th, 2006 | 8:54 am

      I wouldn’t even take a ms. That trade would be done sooooo fast. I like Cano and love Wang but Santana is on another level – seriously, put him on a team with a decent offense and he’s working on his third straight Cy Young.

      brockdc – Mulder is your #2 in your dream starting 5? I dunno – I’d much rather have Zito if there was a choice.
      http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/stats/players/index.php?lastName=mulder

    10. JohnnyC
      June 20th, 2006 | 3:50 pm

      Steve, that’s a loaded question because Santana is sooo good. As Yu-Hsing said, there ain’t but no players that you wouldn’t trade for him. And, frankly, if George were Selig’s bud, like some other owners further north, a ridiculous trade like this would be possible for the Yankees: Phillips, Steven White, Robinson Cano, and Scott Proctor for Santana and Jason Kubel. The Twins would then trade Cano, White and Phillips to the DBacks for Shawn Green.

    11. JohnnyC
      June 20th, 2006 | 3:56 pm

      Jen, Mo, Posada, and Pettitte weren’t even considered prospects by scouts and/or sabermetricians. And Bernie was a borderline guy…a raw, toolsy player most people wouldn’t try to project. Only Jeter, as a first round pick, had any buzz coming through the system. We traded away most of the prospects who were highly-rated: Milton, Lowell, Westbrook, etc.

    12. Jen
      June 20th, 2006 | 4:22 pm

      Thanks Johnny.

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