Bryan Smith over at the great Baseball Analysts
blog takes a look at the top 20 sophmore players for 2006. Robinson Cano checks in at number 16:
Both at Baseball Prospectus and BTF, Cano was given about a 10% chance to turn into Hall of Fame baseball player. This is because what he did last year was remarkable, stepping into baseball's largest stage and taking the spotlight off a position that has caused the Yanks so much grief. Cano is another player that I obviously underrated too much as a prospect, not taking his 100 RBI+ season into enough consideration. But, really, is Cano's ceiling much above his performance in 2005? Do we really see a player that even has the possibility to be better than [Rickie] Weeks? Not for me, at least, as I believe Cano will teeter-totter among being an average second baseman for as long as the Yanks let him.
While Cano's glove may never be anything to write home about (although he is working on improving his defense
), of all ML second basemen, only 3 had a higher batting average
in 2005 than Cano. He was also in the top ten in doubles
, and total bases
amongst those manning the 4 position. Impressive considering he didn't see his first game until more than a month into the season. With Luis Castillo having to adjust to new pitchers in a new league, and Brian Roberts possibly starting the year on the DL, there's a good chance Cano will be one of (if not the) most production 2B in the game next season.