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Friday, September 22, 2017

Robinson Cano hits 300th home run | MLB.com

Moms dig the long ball.

Robinson Cano became the third second baseman in Major League history to hit 300 home runs in his career when he launched a solo shot off Rangers reliever Keone Kela in the bottom of the ninth inning in Thursday’s 4-2 loss at Safeco Field.

Cano had a special fan in attendance as his mom, Claribel, had flown in from the Dominican Republic earlier this week.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 22, 2017 at 06:46 AM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners, milestones, robinson cano

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 22, 2017 at 08:55 AM (#5536615)
Two questions:

1) If Cano retired after this season, he would comfortably make the HOF, yes?
2) He has six more years at $24m/yr for Seattle. If he completes the contract, ends up with 400 HRs and 3000 hits, say, 10 ASGs, where is he on the all-time 2B list?
   2. Lassus Posted: September 22, 2017 at 09:10 AM (#5536625)
1)If Cano retired after this season, he would comfortably make the HOF, yes?

Errrr... I don't think so. I guess I could be way wrong, but I don't think he's looked at as being in hit-by-bus territory by the press at large, whether or not he should be.
   3. BDC Posted: September 22, 2017 at 09:26 AM (#5536643)
If Cano retired after this season, he would comfortably make the HOF, yes?

Comps for Cano, complete careers, centered on him in terms of OPS+ and PA:

Player            dWAR   PA OPSRbaser  HR  RBI   BA  OBP  SLG       Pos
Scott Rolen       20.6 8518  122   13.0 316 1287 .281 .364 .490      
*5/H
Johnny Bench      19.5 8674  126   
-3.0 389 1376 .267 .342 .476 *253H/798
Bobby Grich       16.3 8220  125    5.0 224  864 .266 .371 .424  
*46/3H5D
Yogi Berra         8.9 8359  125   14.0 358 1430 .285 .348 .482  
*2H79/35
Robinson Cano      8.6 8455  126   
-5.0 300 1179 .305 .354 .495    *4/DH6
Ron Cey            6.0 8344  121  
-15.0 316 1139 .261 .354 .445    *5/HD3
Keith Hernandez    0.7 8553  128   
-4.0 162 1071 .296 .384 .436    *3/H79
Mark Teixeira     
-0.4 8029  126   -5.0 409 1298 .268 .360 .509  *3/DH957
Joe Torre         
-0.6 8802  129  -20.0 252 1185 .297 .365 .452    235H/7
Bobby Bonds       
-2.2 8090  129   38.0 332 1024 .268 .353 .471   *98/D7H 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/22/2017.

Hmmn, this is kind of like shaking the eight-ball and getting "Reply Hazy Try Again" :) Cano has established a HOF pace because, early on, he'd mechanically get 190-200 hits every year, and seemed an excellent bet for 3,000 (and is still a pretty good one). But retiring right now? It's just in the past two years that he's established himself as clearly having a better career than Ron Cey. He has not established himself as better than Scott Rolen; he's only a little better than Keith Hernandez. The only slam-dunk HOF/HOM types in his vicinity are MVP catchers.

I think Cano will go into the HOM as soon as eligible, no matter what, but (like Lassus) I am honestly not sure what the BBWAA would think of him if he retired now. He was just another guy in the 2009 World Series. He was relatively high on several MVP ballots but never won. He shares a reputation for fiery play with Bobby Abreu.

I said earlier this year that there are only five active "mortal locks" for the HOF: Beltre, Cabrera, Ichiro, Kershaw, and Pujols – and at that, some people disputed Kershaw. I didn't include Cano because I think of him as a career candidate who's on a definite pace but not quite there. I could obviously be wrong. Still, Cano is still 400 games and about 350 hits short of Roberto Alomar's career – on pace to get there, but not there yet. A mortal lock to become a mortal lock? :)
   4. Man o' Schwar Posted: September 22, 2017 at 11:43 AM (#5536757)
Yeah, I think if he has any kind of "normal" decline over the next 3-4 years, he sails in. If he comes out next year and hits .210 with 6 HRs, hangs on for one more year and then retires, maybe not.

I suspect (as others have suggested) that he'll ultimately get to 3000 hits and make it first ballot without a problem. I like Cano, I hope he hangs around for 10 more years and becomes the next Adrian Beltre, productive into his late career.
   5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 11:48 AM (#5536760)
1) If Cano retired after this season, he would comfortably make the HOF, yes?


I think he should be, but I'm not sure that he actually is. His career-to-date, encompassing 13 seasons, is very close to the first 14 years of Robbie Alomar's career in overall and peak value, and Alomar isn't in.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 22, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5536763)
Alomar isn't in.

Say what now?
   7. simpleton & childlike gef the talking mongoose Posted: September 22, 2017 at 11:52 AM (#5536765)
Alomar isn't in.


You sure about that?
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 22, 2017 at 11:54 AM (#5536768)
The most obvious comp to me is Jeff Kent - Cano's career totals are pretty similar except for a better BA but fewer HR/RBI (although in 700 fewer at-bats). Almost identical OPS+. Cano has 10 more WAR, I would assume due to defense. So, I'd say no on the hit-by-bus test, or the dirty-truck test, as the case may be.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2017 at 11:54 AM (#5536769)
If Murray Chass is still alive after Cano's retired for 5 years, I'm waiting for him to write that Robbie won't get his HoF vote because he didn't run down to first on intentional walks.
   10. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2017 at 12:02 PM (#5536774)
The most obvious comp to me is Jeff Kent - Cano's career totals are pretty similar except for a better BA but fewer HR/RBI (although in 700 fewer at-bats). Almost identical OPS+. Cano has 10 more WAR, I would assume due to defense. So, I'd say no on the hit-by-bus test.

Right, although I assume that players who get killed by buses might get some consideration for accumulating those WAR numbers by the age of 34, rather than by the age of 40. Of course if instead of getting killed by a bus Cano had to retire due to an off-field scandal, that consideration might not be put in play.
   11. Brian Posted: September 22, 2017 at 12:20 PM (#5536796)
Alomar isn't in.


Was he thrown out?
   12. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 12:54 PM (#5536839)

I said earlier this year that there are only five active "mortal locks" for the HOF: Beltre, Cabrera, Ichiro, Kershaw, and Pujols – and at that, some people disputed Kershaw.

We had a similar conversation about Kershaw before this season, and about Roy Halladay a few years ago. I think I said both were locks if they *actually* got hit by buses, but if they went Dale Murphy or Robbie Alomar burnt toast on us for the last few years of their careers, who knows. Halladay did something kind of in-between, and I think the verdict is still out on him. Cano is probably past that point now because he has 6 years left on his contract; so even if he's just replacement level for the next 6 years he's still getting the ABs and will still get to nearly 3000 hits. But he'd sit on the ballot for a few years.
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 01:07 PM (#5536851)
Huh, how about that? Totally forgot that he got voted in. Carry on!
   14. Booey Posted: September 22, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5536877)
Huh, how about that? Totally forgot that he got voted in.


Easily, too. There were probably a few voters giving a one year snub for the Hirschbeck incident, otherwise he'd have gone first ballot. After missing by only a couple votes, he sailed in on the 2nd ballot with 90%, the highest total ever for a non first year selection.
   15. TheHomeRunsOfJuanPierre Posted: September 22, 2017 at 01:38 PM (#5536886)
Booey said it.

Alomar was a god of men, who is now percentage points under Cano, who will by years outlast Alomar. Locked.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 22, 2017 at 01:46 PM (#5536899)
A mortal lock to become a mortal lock?

That's pretty much it. Just as few pedestrians are actually killed by busses, few players like Cano "lose it" overnight. Cano will be at ~ 66 WAR at the end of the season, with 6 more years on his contract. The last half of that may not be that good, but by then he's likely at 75-85 WAR. Can't see the HoF voters ignoring that, particularly with the attention getting HRs by a 2nd baseman total, and, most likely, 3,000 hits.
   17. Srul Itza Posted: September 22, 2017 at 01:48 PM (#5536903)
If Cano retired after this season, he would comfortably make the HOF, yes?



I'm with those who say that if it is retirement or a sudden, steep decline, probably not.

But if he is actually hit by a bus, I think he gets the Puckett treatment and gets voted in, although maybe not as fast.
   18. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 22, 2017 at 01:51 PM (#5536908)
He has six more years at $24m/yr for Seattle. If he completes the contract, ends up with 400 HRs and 3000 hits, say, 10 ASGs, where is he on the all-time 2B list?


I'll admit the Hall of Fame bores me but I like this kind of question.

                                                                                                   
Rk              Player WAR/pos    G    PA    AB    R    H  2B  HR  RBI  SB  CS   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS
1       Rogers Hornsby   126.9 2259  9480  8173 1579 2930 541 301 1584 135  64 .358 .434 .577 1.010
2        Eddie Collins   124.0 2825 12046  9949 1821 3315 438  47 1299 741 195 .333 .424 .429  .853
3           Nap Lajoie   107.6 2480 10461  9589 1504 3243 657  82 1599 380  26 .338 .380 .466  .847
4           Joe Morgan   100.5 2649 11329  9277 1650 2517 449 268 1133 689 162 .271 .392 .427  .819
5            Rod Carew    81.1 2469 10550  9315 1424 3053 445  92 1015 353 187 .328 .393 .429  .822
6    Charlie Gehringer    80.5 2323 10245  8860 1775 2839 574 184 1427 181  90 .320 .404 .480  .884
7            Pete Rose    79.5 3562 15890 14053 2165 4256 746 160 1314 198 149 .303 .375 .409  .784
8         Lou Whitaker    74.8 2390  9967  8570 1386 2369 420 244 1084 143  75 .276 .363 .426  .789
9          Bobby Grich    70.9 2008  8220  6890 1033 1833 320 224  864 104  83 .266 .371 .424  .794
10      Frankie Frisch    70.3 2311 10099  9112 1532 2880 466 105 1244 419  74 .316 .369 .432  .801
11       Ryne Sandberg    67.7 2164  9282  8385 1318 2386 403 282 1061 344 107 .285 .344 .452  .795
12      Roberto Alomar    66.7 2379 10400  9073 1508 2724 504 210 1134 474 114 .300 .371 .443  .814
13       Robinson Cano    66.0 1989  8455  7766 1140 2368 512 300 1179  51  38 .305 .354 .495  .849
14     Willie Randolph    65.6 2202  9461  8018 1239 2210 316  54  687 271  94 .276 .373 .351  .724
15         Chase Utley    65.4 1844  7662  6681 1083 1846 400 258 1010 150  21 .276 .359 .469  .828
16        Craig Biggio    65.2 2850 12504 10876 1844 3060 668 291 1175 414 124 .281 .363 .433  .796
17     Jackie Robinson    61.6 1382  5804  4877  947 1518 273 137  734 197  30 .311 .409 .474  .883
18          Joe Gordon    57.1 1566  6535  5707  914 1530 264 253  975  89  60 .268 .357 .466  .822
19         Ian Kinsler    55.1 1666  7456  6652 1144 1819 377 232  834 225  62 .273 .342 .447  .789
20           Jeff Kent    55.1 2298  9537  8498 1320 2461 560 377 1518  94  60 .290 .356 .500  .855
21        Billy Herman    54.8 1922  8638  7707 1163 2345 486  47  839      67 .304 .367 .407  .774
22      Dustin Pedroia    52.5 1498  6723  5983  920 1800 394 140  722 138  46 .301 .367 .442  .809
23          Bid McPhee    52.4 2138  9429  8304 1684 2258 303  53 1072     568 .272 .355 .373  .728
24         Bobby Doerr    51.4 1865  8028  7093 1094 2042 381 223 1247  54  64 .288 .362 .461  .823
25       Tony Phillips    50.9 2161  9110  7617 1300 2023 360 160  819 177 114 .266 .374 .389  .763


That's the top 25 players with at least 500 games at second base. If he does what you describe and gets to 3,000/400 without massive drops in defense or average it's hard not think he's at least top 5 in WAR. Despite the WAR numbers I've always counted Morgan mentally as my number one and I think you could reasonably argue a 3,000/400 Cano very much in the mix for the third spot on that list behind Morgan and Hornsby (IMHO).
   19. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:04 PM (#5536923)
I knew Ian Kinsler was good, but wow. He's in a dead heat with Kent in career WAR and isn't done. He's going to make it harder for Pedroia to get in. But agree that Cano makes it in easy when it's all said and done.
   20. Tim D Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:28 PM (#5536956)
Lou Whitaker was off the HOF ballot the first year. 8th.
   21. Tim D Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:29 PM (#5536959)
Mrs. Cano was lucky to be in Seattle instead of the DR. Kind of messy there with Maria and all.
   22. jmurph Posted: September 22, 2017 at 02:32 PM (#5536963)
He's going to make it harder for Pedroia to get in.

I imagine Pedroia will overperform in the voting. Might play his entire career all in one place, one that gets a lot of attention, and will have 8 World Series rings (according to my projections).
   23. Ithaca2323 Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:11 PM (#5536993)

That's pretty much it. Just as few pedestrians are actually killed by busses, few players like Cano "lose it" overnight. Cano will be at ~ 66 WAR at the end of the season, with 6 more years on his contract. The last half of that may not be that good, but by then he's likely at 75-85 WAR. Can't see the HoF voters ignoring that, particularly with the attention getting HRs by a 2nd baseman total, and, most likely, 3,000 hits.


This. I've never seen the fun in playing the bus game. I'd rather just assume a reasonable outcome based on prior performance and go from there than filter it through the "What if they turn into Nomar/Lincecum?"

Cano is going to be a HOFer, very easily
   24. Tim D Posted: September 22, 2017 at 03:14 PM (#5536995)
Pedroia is going to get in. He's a ".300 hitter," a "gamer," a "leader," "scrappy," etc. Press loves him, plays in Boston, rings. Whitaker was at least as good but was quiet, wasn't a gamer or scrappy compared to Trammell (subtle racism, athletically gifted black players are almost never recognized for their hard work). Whitaker only played on one WS winner, and platooned for several years later in his career. And the press didn't care for him because he never wanted to talk. Detroit sportswriters torpedoed his chances (and Trammell's) by not supporting his candidacy. Those guys thought Kaline was a marginal hall of famer.
   25. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 04:10 PM (#5537029)
This. I've never seen the fun in playing the bus game. I'd rather just assume a reasonable outcome based on prior performance and go from there than filter it through the "What if they turn into Nomar/Lincecum?"


Sure, but that wasn't the question originally posed. That was, "What if this is it?"

Cano's been great, and has been considered a star by the writers for most of his career. He's finished in the top 10 in MVP voting 6 times in 7 years, and his total MVP shares are 86th all time, which doesn't sound that impressive, but almost every eligible player ahead of him is in Cooperstown or would be if not for steroids or gambling. With that said, his career is kind of short, and the writers don't always give extra credit for the time you missed (Albert Belle), unless they really like you (Kirby Puckett).

As a side note, one of those exceptions is Don Mattingly, who has a namesake player currently in the minors:

Mattingly Romanin

It seemed like the postseason announcers mentioned that Cano was named after Jackie Robinson every time he came to bat, which got annoying after a while, but in any case, I hope this is a trend. It would be fun to start seeing guys make the major leagues with the surnames of erstwhile superstars serving as their given names. Larkin Jones or Verlander Sanchez or Kershaw Kazanjian. I feel for the kid whose mom names him "Trout".




   26. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 22, 2017 at 04:18 PM (#5537038)
I'm with those who say that if it is retirement or a sudden, steep decline, probably not.

But if he is actually hit by a bus, I think he gets the Puckett treatment and gets voted in, although maybe not as fast.


What if he gets hit by a bus, and he survives, but then goes into a sudden, steep decline?
   27. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: September 22, 2017 at 04:41 PM (#5537049)
What if Gord Downie lives for another 30 years? At what point does it become awkward? Can the band get back together if he recovers?

So many questions . . .
   28. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 22, 2017 at 05:04 PM (#5537056)

It seemed like the postseason announcers mentioned that Cano was named after Jackie Robinson every time he came to bat, which got annoying after a while, but in any case, I hope this is a trend. It would be fun to start seeing guys make the major leagues with the surnames of erstwhile superstars serving as their given names. Larkin Jones or Verlander Sanchez or Kershaw Kazanjian. I feel for the kid whose mom names him "Trout".


I feel for the kid whose parents name him "Odor".

Or the kid who was named "Carmona" and had to change his name to "Hernandez" in 2012.
   29. BDC Posted: September 22, 2017 at 05:44 PM (#5537074)
I feel for the kid whose mom names him "Trout"

Particularly if he comes from the Almandine family.
   30. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 22, 2017 at 07:27 PM (#5537108)
It seemed like the postseason announcers mentioned that Cano was named after Jackie Robinson every time he came to bat, which got annoying after a while, but in any case, I hope this is a trend. It would be fun to start seeing guys make the major leagues with the surnames of erstwhile superstars serving as their given names. Larkin Jones or Verlander Sanchez or Kershaw Kazanjian. I feel for the kid whose mom names him "Trout".


Mickey Tettleton was named after Mickey Mantle, who was named after Mickey Cochrane.

Ryne Sandberg was named after Ryne Duren

Ken Griffey Jr was named after Ken Griffey Sr.
   31. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 22, 2017 at 10:44 PM (#5537204)
I think I’d enjoy people using the Garciaparra family method while using the last names of great players. Rednalrev Jones would be exciting.
   32. Wahoo Sam Posted: September 23, 2017 at 02:49 AM (#5537253)
Cano's peak, according to WAR, ranks sixth all-time among second basemen. That's very damn impressive. He's now also in the top 20 in career WAR. If you look at non-SABRmetric measurements I think he has some positive things (a couple 200-hits seasons, some Gold Gloves, top ten MVP finishes). If he can stay healthy and avoid the typical middle infielder decline in his mid-30s, he'll inch into the top ten potentially in career value. I think he gets in. And I say that even though I can't stand the way he plays the game.
   33. DavidFoss Posted: September 23, 2017 at 09:46 AM (#5537283)
Ken Griffey Jr was named after Ken Griffey Sr.

They are both named George. Tom Seaver, too.

What's wrong with George? Is that a Babe Ruth thing?
   34. Leroy Kincaid Posted: September 23, 2017 at 11:02 AM (#5537289)
Huh, how about that? Totally forgot that he got voted in. Carry on!


Until very recently I was under the impression that Roger Clemens was in the HOF...

Cano was someone I was way off on. Thought the Carew comparisons early in his career were ridiculous given that his minor-league performance wasn't that great. He might turn out to be better than Rodney.
   35. BDC Posted: September 23, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5537290)
All-Time Crypto-George Team

C Birdie Tebbetts
1B Highpockets Kelly
2B Snuffy Stirnweiss
3B Whitey Kurowski
SS Buck Weaver
OF Ken Griffey Sr.
OF Ken Griffey Jr.
OF Babe Ruth
P Tom Seaver
P Rube Waddell
P Hooks Dauss
P Rube Walberg
P Hooks Wiltse
MGR Sparky Anderson
GM Dallas Green
League President: Rube Foster

Dode Paskert and Mule Haas are the 4th and 5th outfielders.

This is actually a freaking awesome team.
   36. DavidFoss Posted: September 23, 2017 at 11:28 AM (#5537297)
All-Time Crypto-George Team

Awesome. Thanks!
   37. Hysterical & Useless Posted: September 23, 2017 at 02:03 PM (#5537339)
Mickey Tettleton was named after Mickey Mantle, who was named after Mickey Cochrane.

Ryne Sandberg was named after Ryne Duren

Ken Griffey Jr was named after Ken Griffey Sr.


I was named after Stan Musial. Like, 30 years after Stan Musial.
   38. Walt Davis Posted: September 23, 2017 at 06:38 PM (#5537466)
I assume that would kick the crap out of the George George team. Hell, it might have a shot at the Georgia team.

The best recent positive comp for Cano is Alomar. Continuing the Alomar confusion, I could have sworn that Alomar won a MVP but nope. But, deservedly or not, he did win 10 GG to go along with 12 AS games and lots of good MVP finishes (1.9 shares). Cano's at 8 AS games, 2.1 MVP shares and 2 GG. So how comfortable his cliff-diving chances kinda depends on whether you consider Alomar (Biggio, Larkin, etc.) as "comfortable" paths to the HoF. In all three cases it was obvious they were going in given where they started but it wasn't first-ballot. Meanwhile, from a strict WAR perspective, we have seen similar/better candidates go nowhere (Walker most obviously, probably Rolen, the others mentioned, etc.) so he's not out of the woods.

He's got lots of "middle" milestones that he should pass next year -- 2000 games, 9000 PA, 2500 hits, 1200 R/RBI. Those are the sorts of things that help you get recognized as having a HoF-peak with a long career and those guys pretty much always go in.

Kershaw's a lock no matter what happens. He's got 3 CYAs (and a 2nd, 3rd and 5th). This is his 5th season leading the league in ERA, 4th in ERA+, 3rd leading in wins and he's got 3 pitcher WAR titles. He's the very definition of dominance, much like Koufax, much moreso than even somebody like Gibson or Seaver. I suppose some voters might hold his post-season performance against him if this was it but they wouldn't carry the day. He should switch to the pen, rack up 300 saves and they'll induct him twice.

EDIT: And obviously I have no relevant precedent (Addie Joss or not) but I think they'd waive the 10-year rule for Trout if they had to (barring roids, murder, kneeling during the anthem, etc.)
   39. BDC Posted: September 23, 2017 at 07:27 PM (#5537485)
The George George team has severely limited pitching and catching, and a surplus of guys at the corners and in the outfield (because Tioga George Burns, George Scott, George Kell, George Springer, George Case, and a bunch of others are sitting). But it's got a HOF infield, if we assume that George Wright can handle second base:

C Mitterwald
1B Sisler
2B Wright
3B Brett
SS Davis
OF Foster
OF Hendrick
OF Bell
P Mullin
P Culver
   40. DanG Posted: September 24, 2017 at 09:44 AM (#5537639)
Here are 2B, SS, 3B, CF with similar WAR, OPS+ and PA as Cano through their age-34 season:

Player           WAR/po OPS+   PA From   To    H  HR  RBI   BA
Ron Santo          70.5  125 9397 1960 1974 2254 342 1331 .277 H
Rod Carew          69.7  136 8085 1967 1980 2394  80  836 .333 H
Charlie Gehringer  66.2  128 7851 1924 1937 2264 134 1100 .329 H
Robinson Cano      65.9  126 8464 2005 2017 2371 300 1180 .305
Pete Rose          64.5  126 9242 1963 1975 2547 124  775 .310
Joe Cronin         63.9  119 8415 1926 1941 2188 156 1342 .303 H
Ryne Sandberg      63.7  118 8181 1981 1994 2133 245  905 .289 H
Ernie Banks        62.8  129 7662 1953 1965 1935 404 1227 .280 H
Carlos Beltran     61.6  121 7730 1998 2011 1917 302 1146 .283
Derek Jeter        61.0  120 9093 1995 2008 2535 206 1002 .316
Andre Dawson       59.0  123 7899 1976 1989 2037 319 1131 .281 H 

Cano scores 155 on the HOF Monitor, almost shoo-in territory, as he has done many things that HOF voters traditionally favor.

Cano is 8th in JAWS at his position, so he does well in advanced metrics. Players with this combination of traditional and advanced accomplishments get elected quickly.
   41. bookbook Posted: September 24, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5537652)
So... the full career folks whose career looks like Cano's are disproportionately catchers. Which means... probably nothing.

I don't think you can call a 2b who is ~10 WAR behind Lou Whitaker a mortal lock. Catching up to, if not surpassing, the Tigers snubbed DP-combo would go a long way towards cementing his candidacy.
   42. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 24, 2017 at 11:14 AM (#5537659)
The George George team has severely limited pitching and catching, and a surplus of guys at the corners and in the outfield (because Tioga George Burns, George Scott, George Kell, George Springer, George Case, and a bunch of others are sitting). But it's got a HOF infield, if we assume that George Wright can handle second base:

C Mitterwald
1B Sisler
2B Wright
3B Brett
SS Davis
OF Foster
OF Hendrick
OF Bell
P Mullin
P Culver


George Van Haltren is a better choice at CF.
   43. Walt Davis Posted: September 24, 2017 at 10:49 PM (#5537846)
I don't think you can call a 2b who is ~10 WAR behind Lou Whitaker a mortal lock.

Why not? Alomar was a lock, Biggio was a lock, they were in the same spot as Cano. And of course Whitaker never registered.

Trammell would be a scarier comp for Cano ... but there ain't never been a more locked mortal lock than Jeter who only matches Trammell in WAR.

The better Whitaker argument for doubting Cano is that Whitaker shows what can happen to a 2B (or any position) without important milestones, no MVP, no black/gray ink to speak of and moderate AS/GG love. If he retired this year, Cano would share those characteristics (except 8 AS games and way more MVP love ... and way more gray ink and ...).

As I said, if he retired today I think it could be dicey. If he has a full season next year, I would bet on him. Assuming that's not the end of the line, I think he'll easily do enough before he retires to be an easy in. But even my short-term doubt isn't because of his WAR, it's because of the trad stats and lack of MVP. And it's the exclusion of Whitaker and the more recent exclusions of Trammell and Walker that make it pretty clear the HoF vote is far from a WAR-based vote.
   44. QLE Posted: September 25, 2017 at 12:37 AM (#5537882)
I don't think you can call a 2b who is ~10 WAR behind Lou Whitaker a mortal lock.


For those folk who obsess about career WAR above all, perhaps.

However, if we compare the best seasons of Cano to the best of Whitaker....

Cano: 8.5/8.1/7.8/7.3/6.7/6.4/5.7/4.5/3.4/3.3
Whitaker: 6.7/6.7/5.4/5.3/4.7/4.5/4.5/4.4/4.3/4.1

Cano has on six occasions been among the best players in his league by WAR and six times among the best position players by WAR. Whitaker hit those marks twice and thrice.

More to the point, beyond just WAR (which didn't exist when Whitaker was one-and-done and which most of BBWAA electorate still aren't using as the chief motivation for their vote), is that Cano has a peak in terms of conventional stats beyond what Whitaker had. He has had a higher BA and SLG (and, with the higher SLG, more doubles and home runs), a higher raw OPS, and higher OPS+ on a season-by-season basis, with the added bonus of being more durable in his high OPS+ years than Whitaker often was. Whitaker has a substantial advantage in walks, but the BBWAA in general seems not to be impressed by that.

In addition to this, there's also a matter of how the two were viewed in their own times. Cano has made eight All-Star Games; Whitaker made five. Cano has received votes for MVP eight times (and has finished third, fourth, and fifth twice in the voting); Whitaker only once. In these ways, I would suggest that comparing the two is dubious in several ways: Cano has a better peak than Whitaker did, does better in traditional stats than he does (Whitaker's two weapons are a lengthy prime and his ability to draw walks, both of which the BBWAA has never much appreciated), and he seems to be regarded by a wider audience as an elite player than Whitaker was. In all, they really haven't been the same player (if they played different positions, I don't think the comparison would ever be made), and we shouldn't expect the same results.
   45. DanG Posted: September 25, 2017 at 09:54 PM (#5538835)
To piggyback on #44:

With respect to popularity with HOF voters, Cano has already passed Whitaker. Despite his shorter career, Cano already beats Whitaker in HR, RBI, H, 2B, and TB; he has a solid lead in OPS+ and a huge edge in BA. So voters favoring the traditional stats will easily favor Cano. This is reflected in their HOF Monitor scores: Whitaker is at 93 points (192nd among position players); Cano is far ahead with 155 points (82nd).

Advanced metrics also favor Cano. His huge edge in peak seasons already has moved him ahead of Whitaker in JAWS. Cano is #8 among 2B, with Grich the only non-HOFer ahead of him. Cano will pass Grich next season. Whitaker ranks #13 at 2B, with a JAWS score slightly below the average HOFer.

So even if Cano hasn't quite reached "mortal lock" status for HOF election, it's not because he's being blocked by Whitaker.

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