To date, through yesterday’s game, Robinson Cano’s career BA/OBP/SLG line with the Yankees is .309/.342/.488 (in 3,140 PA). When I look at that line, the first thing I think about is Cano’s minor league production prior to becoming a big leaguer – and how few thought (before 2005) Robbie would hit, like he has, at the Major League level.
Related, here are his minor league numbers:
|2001||18||2 Teams||2 Lgs||Rk-A-||59||241||37||14||2||3||36||28||29||.231||.328||.361|
|2002||19||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A-A-||135||599||78||25||10||15||81||33||86||.276||.319||.437|
|2003||20||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A+-AA||136||571||71||25||4||6||63||26||65||.277||.322||.374|
|2004||21||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-AAA||135||563||65||29||10||13||74||42||67||.283||.339||.457|
How does a guy fashion a career BA/OBP/SLG line of .278/.331/.425 (in 2,106 PA) in the minors go on to post a line of .309/.342/.488 in the majors?
Typically, players do better in the minors than in the majors because the level of pitching is more advanced in the big leagues. You just don’t see guys who hit .280 in the minors become .300 hitters in the majors – at least not everyday.
I know that many like to cite Don Mattingly in a situation like this – saying that he was a better hitter in the majors than the minors. But, in truth, Donnie Baseball had a “slash” line of .307/.358/.471 in the majors compared to a .332/.378/.471 one in the minor leagues.
So, just how did Robinson Cano become the player that he is today? Is it just a matter of better food, playing surfaces, lighting in the majors along with pitchers who throw more strikes? That would be the conventional wisdom. Maybe that’s it? Then again, maybe it’s something else? To be candid, I have no clue on this one. And, if I did, it would be more of a suspicion than a clue.
Granted, this matter is not one of the world’s greatest and most enduring unsolved mysteries. And, it’s not a natural or supernatural phenomena. But, to me, it’s still an interesting question. How about to you?