Via Joel Sherman today -
I formed a seven- man committee comprised of one NL GM, one AL GM, and five assistants — three NL and two AL — and posed this question:
If you could have Robinson Cano or Dustin Pedroia for the next five years, who would you take and why?
The result surprised me. All seven executives picked Pedroia. He is the reigning MVP. But his 2009 season is down from last year while Cano has rebounded to have a positive campaign. Pedroia just turned 26, Cano turns 27 in October.
However, all seven respondents followed a basic theme: “Pedroia has better makeup and gives his all every day,” an NL exec said. “On natural ability, Cano tops the list. But Pedroia is a winner and a leader.”
Still, what became obvious from the respondents was that Cano has an image problem that lingers even as his overall game has improved this year. For if both second basemen took the field in workout garb for hitting, running, throwing and fielding drills, Cano likely would be the more impressive player. But the perception lingers that Cano does not concentrate well and floats through too many at-bats, while Pedroia treats every inning as a baseball holy war.
“I trust [Pedroia's] ability to grind and persevere more than Cano,” the NL GM said.
Me? Pedroia has to prove that 2008 wasn’t a fluke…because, if he’s not hitting 50+ doubles and 15+ homers in a season, then his game, despite the high batting average, plays out to be close to a league average performer. And, we know, sans last season, Cano can post a season with numbers close to 40 doubles, 20 homers, and a batting average over .300…which is very good for a second baseman.
What do you think, which player would you rather have as your second baseman?