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Friday, January 13, 2012

CBS: Snyder: Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

The case for Cano

While he was already a very good hitter, Cano has developed into one of the most feared hitters in baseball over the past two seasons, finishing in the top six of MVP voting both times. His triple slash line of .311/.365/.533 from 2010-11 is a beauty for a second baseman, not to mention the 28 homers, 46 doubles, 118 RBI and 104 runs he posted last season. It was good enough for Cano to bring home the Silver Slugger for the second consecutive season.

A model of durability as well, Cano hasn’t played in less than 159 games in any of the past five seasons. Pedroia only managed 75 games in an injury-plagued 2010 season, so that’s a point for Cano.

The case for Pedroia

On the other hand, Pedroia played in 157, 154 and 159 games, respectively, in three of the past four seasons, so it’s not like he’s injury prone. Pedroia, the 2007 Rookie of the Year, also won the 2008 MVP. And Pedroia can do it all. He hit 21 home runs last season while stealing 26 bases and also winning a Gold Glove (his second). His .307/.387/.474 line is competitive with Cano’s, too. Where Pedroia has a bit less home-run power, he makes up for it by getting on base. He holds a .373 to .347 advantage in career OBP.

...Our call

I’m going to go with Pedroia here in a photo finish, the closest of calls, based upon the defensive separation. The two are very close across the board. Just as with yesterday’s pick, I could go either way and there definitely isn’t a wrong answer. In fact, we have over 20 of these posts lined up, and this may well be the hardest choice among them.

Thanks to BN.

Repoz Posted: January 13, 2012 at 06:13 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox, sabermetrics, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Dale Sams Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4035967)
Offense: Cano>Pedroia
Defense: Pedroia>>>>>>Cano
Baserunning: Pedroia>>Cano

Survey sayyyyyys: Zobrist.
   2. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4035993)
Depends on where they're playing. In their current situations, Pedroia's got a slight edge, because of his defense. But put them in a more neutral situation, and that advantage disappears, since Cano's offensive road numbers would more than make up for Pedroia's defense.

Career OPS Home / Road / Overall

Pedroia .893 / .780 / .837

Cano .837 / .849 / .843

Pedroia in Yankee Stadium: .797 (YS2) / .783 (YS3)

Cano in Fenway Park: .974

I haven't factored in the respective strengths of the two pitching staffs, but I doubt if that would account for all that much of the gap in that last set of numbers.

Personally I'd flip a coin, and pray that the one I got didn't suffer some long range injury. You really can't go wrong with either of these two.





   3. Dale Sams Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4035998)
But put them in a more neutral situation


But they arn't. and it isn't likely to happen anytime soon...so (not being an ass)I've never understood the point of that argument.
   4. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4036003)
I would rather not have this discussion for, by my count, the 8 millionth time. Once they're both retired, we can argue about it.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 13, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4036007)
But they arn't. and it isn't likely to happen anytime soon...so (not being an ass)I've never understood the point of that argument.

Well, presumably if you were picking between the two (if they were both FAs) the park would be the same, i.e. Pedroia doesn't get to bring the Green Monster with him, nor does Cano get to bring the short Yankee Stadium RF.

It really is a coin-flip.
   6. Dale Sams Posted: January 13, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4036013)
I would rather not have this discussion for, by my count, the 8 millionth time. Once they're both retired, we can argue about it.


I've had, or seen, the argument a billion times in..less-intelligent..forums. I don't think I've seen it here, and personally am curious as to what others here think.*

For myself, up until last year I would have chosen Cano because i wasn't convinced that Pedey could keep turning in elite defense. Right now I have to give Pedroia the slight edge. But have seen persuasive arguments that Zobrist is more valuable than both, and that Kinsler is worth talking about too.

*Orrrrr....we could talk about food stamps and The Beatles, I guess.
   7. attaboy Posted: January 13, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4036147)
If they are both becoming free agents, I'd go Cano for two reasons: Defense tends to get worse as players age sooner than the hitting drops off and Pedroia's type of play can lead to injuries more than Cano's. Ped seems like an 'all-out effort every play' type and Cano is so smooth and easy going, seemingly effortless in his play. Pedroia's all out play, I assume, leads to more injuries, Pete Rose, not withstanding.
   8. UCCF Posted: January 13, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4036157)
*Orrrrr....we could talk about food stamps and The Beatles, I guess.

They should put pictures of the Beatles on food stamps. I agree.
   9. BDC Posted: January 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4036167)
Kinsler is worth talking about too

When/if Kinsler can stay healthy for a whole season, as in 2011, he is very much worth talking about. He is the best baserunner of the lot, and has as much power as Cano. But his durability is always in question – and he hit .214 on the road last year ...
   10. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4036172)
I think Andy's "you can't go wrong" is the best answer. If forced I'll take Pedroia but I have to concede fandom probably drives my justifications. I disagree with attaboy and will say that I like Pedroia's defense/base stealing as reasons to take him. Cano's bat may play him into a longer career but I think Pedroia can be a regular up the middle longer than Cano will be. Pedroia probably is going to have a career shape a bit similar to Alomar where he's elite until he isn't and that's that. Cano I think will be a bit more similar to a Julio Franco type who moves off second a bit earlier in his 30s but then can hang around as a bat (though probably not until he's 46).

But like I said, I'm probably justifying myself because of my rooting interest. I don't think there is a bad answer here.

EDIT: Just to clarify, I'm not comparing their relative abilities to Alomar/Franco, just the general shape of their careers.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: January 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4036190)
We can all agree that Pedroia's contract situation is more team-favorable right now.
   12. BrianBrianson Posted: January 13, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4036208)
I've had, or seen, the argument a billion times in..less-intelligent..forums. I don't think I've seen it here, and personally am curious as to what others here think.


If you have enough metrics, one of them will support your biases. Therefor, more metrics is always good. ;)
   13. SteveF Posted: January 13, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4036223)
There's really no rational basis upon which you can pick one player to have significantly more value going forward than the other. Random circumstance will likely dictate who has the better career. When it's all said and done, nobody is going to have much of a right to pat themselves on the back if they correctly predict heads instead of tails.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: January 13, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4036356)
Well, which is more fun -- discussions of the results of past coin flips or the prediction of the outcomes of future coin flips?

So, we've given up on Utley?

Anyway, in answer the question you do have to consider:

Zobrist 31
Kinsler 30
Cano 29
Pedroia 28

Unless you're talking just 2012 and maybe 2013, you have to at least take Pedroia over Zobrist.

And, yeah, it's easy to see Cano having a Molitor or Carew late career.
   15. Randy Jones Posted: January 13, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4036372)
And, yeah, it's easy to see Cano having a Molitor or Carew late career.


Which would be especially funny given the general reaction here and elsewhere when Torre said Cano reminded him of Carew.
   16. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 13, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4036421)
Who would I rather have? Well, Cano is much prettier. But maybe that means Pedroia would work harder to please me.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: January 13, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4036565)
Which would be especially funny given the general reaction here and elsewhere when Torre said Cano reminded him of Carew.

And I was one of the ones who made fun of Torre. Cano still has to step it up a bit -- BA much lower, OBP much lower -- but he's got Carew on power. Molitor is the better comp although Cano is unlikely to reach his OBP either.

Assuming Cano will need to shift to 1B or DH as he ages, an interesting question is whether teams would be content with him being Mark Grace (311/396/470, 123 OPS+ from 31 to 37) ... again with surely a lower OBP. (Further look suggests Derrek Lee or Eddie Murray might be better OBP/SLG/OPS+ comps for Cano ages 31-37)
   18. Walt Davis Posted: January 13, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4036568)
Who would I rather have? Well, Cano is much prettier. But maybe that means Pedroia would work harder to please me.

But Cano makes more money so he might be able to support you in the style you deserve ... also palimony considerations.
   19. villageidiom Posted: January 13, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4036730)
Who would I rather have? Well, Cano is much prettier. But maybe that means Pedroia would work harder to please me.
It all depends on the gift basket.

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