It’s with regret I have to label Robinson Cano overrated. I really like him. Plays a shallow position for fantasy and can come close to repeating his numbers from last year. I.e., I don’t think people are misinterpreting his skill set. That’s usually how a lot of these overrated posts come about. Someone hits — oh, I don’t know — 54 homers and everyone thinks this hypothetical player who we’ll call Jose B. is the cat’s pajamas and overdrafts him. Yeah, Cano’s around a 25-30 homer hitter with a .315 average. I think perception and reality are pretty close for Cano. You Ca-know him! Zoinks! Cano was this same player last year when he was drafted on average in the 3rd round. How did he suddenly move up two rounds? Or more specifically why is Cano going in the top 10 overall?
I have Cano’s projections down for 100/27/100/.310/3. That seems fair. To look behind the curtain and see how I came up with those numbers is very easy for someone like Cano. His HR/FB% was a tad high on 29 homers last year, so I took off two. His BABIP was a tad high, so I shaved off some average. Finally, he hits in the heart of a good lineup so he’s getting runs and RBIs. Maybe people see 14 homers in 2008, 25 homers in 2009 and 29 homers last year and think 34 homers is on the way. They’re not. Now if Cano stole bases then you can get value from him in other ways, but he will not steal bases. When someone like Brandon Phillips hits 20 homers it’s nice, but you’re not waiting for those 20 homers because you also get 20 steals from him. Someone like Chase Utley can give you 25 homers and 15 steals. If you want a guy that will only give you homers, there’s Uggla five rounds after Cano. None of their averages will be as good as Cano, but average is predicated on luck. When you trust a guy who gives a lot of his value with average, you’re also praying he won’t be unlucky. In 2008, Cano hit .271 when he was unlucky. His K-rate was actually worse last year when he hit .319 than when he hit .271. Twenty line drives are caught off Cano’s bat last year and his average goes from .319 to .288. That’s less than one line drive per week. Ergo, vis-à-vis, in summation, don’t pay a 1st round price for someone who has less than 30 homer power and no speed.