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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.

  1. Eddy says:

    ***Razzmock open for this Thursday Jan.20 at 7pm EST!***

    It’s Yahoo style.

    Password is pianowmusic.

    Good post Grey. Good to see the schmohawk series coming back full swing. If I’m not mistaken you were correct on all your assumptions last year. let’s go for a repeat in 2011!

    Btw, are you planning on doing a post like last year where you drafted your ideal team?

  2. Al Swedgin says:

    To steal from the Simpsons: “Jose B” is too obvious, Grey. How about “J. Bautista?”

  3. Matthew Raynor says:


    Where would one go to register for this razzmock? I would def. be interested.

  4. thegeniusking says:

    Amen Grey.

  5. thegeniusking says:

    Also, I noticed we can’t buy Grey a margarita this year?

  6. Matthew Raynor says:

    @Matthew Raynor:

    Nevermind I used my massive brain and figured it out.

  7. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? says:

    I do agree in theory, Grey…isn’t it possible though that Cano has been upgraded to the 1st rd now because he’s “proven” his elite talent level? Same case with Votto last season, even though most people considered him an elite talent (granted some of that doubt was caused by his bouts with depression/whatever).

    In a lot of mocks so far, I’ve found myself drafting Cano 10th-12th just because I know I can still get a very strong 1B when it gets back to me in the early 2nd. I like to draft extremely safe in the early rds and I would just much prefer Cano + Howard/Tex vs say…A-Gon + Zimm/A-Rod or Utley + Howard/Tex…hard to say exactly where Uggla will go and I’m not sure I want to bank on getting him later. Not a big fan of Pedroia/Kinsler/Phillips, as they’re all a bit too risky for my liking early on.

  8. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    @Grey: Wow! Fantastic glimpses beyond the looking glass at how the master conjures his numbers! For those who want to give it a try, Fangraphs sports the HR/FB% and BABIP. Or, just let the master do the work! If you are looking for projected ups/downs in player performance, you can also download a spreadsheet from the following. Scroll to: “You can access the full xBABIP spreadsheet by clicking here.” Click on it. Look low-left corner of your screen to download it.

    Very enlightening post, Grey! You won’t find any schmohawks on my fantasy teams!

  9. Tony says:

    Oh CANO you didnt grey…. I totally agree though. Robinson Cano is a very nice player to own, 2B, a yankee, nice stats, but 1st round is too early. I’d take him late in the 2nd but as ADP is showing he won’t be there….

  10. Steve says:

    @simply fred: Not that you intentionally draft, anyway.

  11. Eddy says:

    Btw, are you planning on doing a post like last year where you drafted your ideal team?

  12. Grey

    Grey says:

    @WHAT DOES IT MEAN?: The only thing I think Cano has proven is he’s a 25-30 homer hitter with no speed and gives a lot of his value with average, something you can’t rely on. Also, I didn’t mention this in the post but have in the past, to win your league you need around a .277 average. You don’t need a .300 average. Assuming you have a bunch of .280 hitters on your team, Cano’s average is needless.

    @simply fred: Thanks!

    @Tony: Yup

    @Eddy: Yup

    EDIT: Word

  13. Mike from Jersey says:

    I believe this is the first schmohawk post of the year, and what a great way to start. Very inciteful and very true. Certainly a alot of second basemen can come within 8 homers of him, and most of those guys have at least 10 steals on him, and go at the earliest 3 rounds after him. My friends asked my top 10 hitters this year and mocked me saying it’s because I’m a Red Sox fan that I didn’t include him. That’s just dumb, dude isn’t a 30 homer hitter or even a 5 steal guy. Thanks for backing up my thoughts.
    Now I want your opinion on Shin-Soo Choo. In my 5 player keeper, it seems like he will be available for me in round 1 (basically round 6). I’m looking at his numbers and it seems like he’s a VERY under rated elite outfielder. In a TERRIBLE scenario last year- bad team, every good player got hurt, and he had a wrist injury himself- he hit .300 and was a 20/20 for the second straight year. It seems to me if he even gets a few breaks, he can easily finish .310/25/100/25/90. That’s close to top 10 value that you can grab late round 3ish. So my question to you, is Choo under rated, or am I just thinking too highly of him?

  14. 12 team, 5 x 5 keeper league, 12th overall pick. I can keep Cano at #12. I was planning on keeping him at 12 and pairing him with a big 1b at #13. Obviously you would prefer Utley to Cano, but do you think not keeping Cano and hoping for Utley to hang until 12 is worth the risk of not getting either?

  15. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Mike from Jersey: It is the first. Yeah, fantasy is about getting well rounded guys. Cano’s a great, consistent player, but he’s not a 1st rounder. The only problem with Choo is he’s underrated which means you’ll enjoy him this year, but you won’t be able to trade him. He has no flash. I would take him in what is your 6th round, for sure. But I don’t know your other options.

  16. Marqo says:

    You cannot be serious…
    You project: 100/27/100/.310/3 – Sure, not a 1st-Rounder, but for 2nd base totally worth a 2nd-rounder!

  17. Marqo says:

    btw. talking here is his greatest fan ;-)

  18. Giant JJ says:

    My 20 team league drags with taking pitchers early. I prefer to avoid pitchers early myself unless I just can’t pass up a good value. I have the 3rd pick of the draft and will take Miguel there. My 2nd pick is pick 38. Would you take Lincecum if he is available there? I see Lincecum going at 20 in other drafts. And there is an offensive lull at 38 anyway. My options will probably be Rollins, Jeter, Dunn, Posey, mcCutchen, Heyward…

  19. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Marqo: Yeah, late 2nd round is okay. It might be quibbling to say he’s overrated as a 1st rounder but fine as a 2nd rounder but he’s not going to be around by the 2nd round in most drafts so he’s overrated.

    @Giant JJ: I’d take one of the outfielders.

  20. Josh says:

    My extremely early draft strategy this year is get the corner infield positions done in two of the first three rounds, then probably onto some OF/MI/SP. I don’t really see much upside at the corner positions, whereas there’s tons of middle infielders that could crack the top 10 from much later in the draft.

    I was looking for more fantasy baseball reading to pass some time today, and I stumbled upon this site:

    Their first posts of the year: Mike Aviles, fantasy sleeper, and “50 tips to win your league”. Its much worse than ESPN stuff. My favorite tips:

    6. Draft stolen bases. A player can be dominant in stolen bases and stolen bases are clearly over-weighted in fantasy baseball. Think Jose Reyes.

    7. Draft closers. Make sure you have one more closer than your nearest competitor. Saves is an easy category to win and another over-weighted category in fantasy baseball.

  21. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? says:

    I believe it was Rudy who plugged the other day. And I must say I’m impressed. 4-5 fantasy articles a day, including a big morning links round-up that mentions razzball on a near daily basis (though the author doesn’t seem to think too highly of Grey’s early rankings in general). Starting to become my 2nd fantasy source behind Razzball.

    Fangraphs and THT are nice, but a lot of times their articles just don’t do a whole lot for me.

  22. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Josh: Agreed with the corner guys, well put. No comment on that other site.

  23. GopherDay says:

    @Josh: But they have a “Baseball’s Hottest Wives” Section! Definite props for that! :P

  24. GopherDay says:

    @WHAT DOES IT MEAN?: I liked this tip on how to win your fantasy league.

    50. When you go to a game, don’t ever yell down to a player: “Hey Ryan, you’re on my fantasy baseball team!” Do you really think he gives a hoot?

  25. Mike from Jersey says:

    Better chance of happening: Andrew McCutchen goes 20/50. Shin-Soo Choo goes 30/25

  26. Tom Thumb says:

    @Grey: In a 20-team league are Cueto in the 7th, de la Rosa in the 6th or Maggs in the 10th good keeper value? I know, I know– kind of rough

  27. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Tom Thumb: Cueto and dlR aren’t bad there. Obviously not incredible value…

  28. Steve says:

    @Grey: A rat’s arse > A hoot.

  29. GopherDay says:

    @Steve: Do you think he gives a **** > a rat’s arse > A hoot.

  30. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Fiddlesticks > rat’s arse > hoot

  31. GopherDay says:

    @Grey: practically anything > rat’s arse > hoot.

  32. GopherDay says:

    @Grey: Mustache Trimmers > hoot.

  33. Steve says:

    @Grey: I see your fiddlesticks and raise you a hill of beans.

  34. GopherDay says:

    @Steve: Beans make me fart…

    Wait, where were we?

  35. GopherDay says:

    Also, for those who missed it…The Nats traded for Gorzelanny from the Cubs. He’s a guy who could be a nice end flyer (flier?) for those in deeper or NL Only leagues now that he has a secure spot in the Nats rotation. For those in shallower leagues, he’ll be good for the occasional spot start when he faces the Na…er…the Mets.

  36. Steve says:

    @Grey: It’s only fair. You have the mustache, after all.

  37. Steve says:

    Just unfollowed Keith Law. Feel kind of liberated.

  38. Eddy says:


    Ugh, I need to do the same. Him and his Top Chef obsessions are getting too annoying. Really hate his “holier than thou” attitude.

  39. Black Beard says:

    How much, if at all, should the Brewers extension talks with Weeks inspire confidence for a healthy 2011?

  40. cbwilson25 says:

    After reading this post, I’m very thankful that I have Cano as a 3rd round pick in my keeper league going into this year’s draft.

  41. “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.”

    So, in essence, Ty Cobb was EXTREMELY LUCKY, as were Hornsby, Williams, DiMaggio, Musial and so many more. I’ll take Cano’s “luck” over Uggla’s “bad luck” and yes I will take it many rounds sooner.

    Think of all the mirrors Mark Reynolds and Carlos Pena must have broken in their lifetimes …..

  42. On second thought, maybe you’re on to something. I have had bad luck my entire life and usually hit around .250 in my slo-pitch softball league.

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