Yankee's Robinson Cano Is Having an MVP Caliber Season

Thomas KellyContributor IIIJuly 17, 2012

Cano has become one of the best hitters in baseball
Cano has become one of the best hitters in baseballMike Stobe/Getty Images

The Yankees are on fire. After tonight's win against Toronto, they are now 56-34, holding the best record in the MLB. Their current lead in the AL East is 9 games over Tampa Bay and Baltimore.

New York is coming off a month in which they went 20-7 and outscored opponents by 44 total runs. They are playing consistently well on the road (27-17) and at home (29-17). 

There have been several integral parts to the Yankee's success. The veterans on their bench: Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez, Chris Stewart and Dewayne Wise are all playing well. Girardi is doing a very admirable job managing a bullpen that lost Mariano Rivera to injury. The starting pitching has also been consistent recently.

The Yankees team ERA stands at 3.79, tenth lowest in the majors. They have the most home runs (144) and highest slugging (.465) and OPS (.802) in the MLB.

A big constant for their success has been the performance of Robinson Cano. He now holds a 20 game hitting streak. Here are some details of his streak according to Ray Monell of Yahoo Sports

Cano has amassed 32 hits in 77 at-bats (.416), as well as six home runs, six doubles and 20 RBIs during the streak (stat includes his two at-bats vs. Toronto through 5-1/2 innings), which began at Citi Field on June 24 against the New York Mets.

Cano's hot play is not a surprise. He has set a bar as one of the best hitters in the game.

Here's a look at his last 3 seasons.

  • 2009: .320 AVG, .872 OPS, 25 HR, 85 RBI, 204 hits
  • 2010: .319 AVG, .915 OPS, 29 HR, 109 RBI, 200 hits
  • 2011: .302, AVG, .882 OPS, 28 HR, 118 RBI, 188 hits

He has become a model of consistency at the second base position, going to three straight All-Star games while also winning a gold glove in 2010. He is a four-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger.

Cano, a .309 career hitter, hits for average but he also provides great power. In his first seven seasons, he has hit 40 plus doubles five times and batted over .300 five times.

Not only did he combine for 82 home runs from 2009-11, but he also hit 135 doubles. He is an extra-base hitting machine that makes consistent contact.

Cano has become a focal point of a Yankee lineup that includes Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez.

In just 89 games this year, he already boasts a .321 average, .969 OPS, 27 doubles and 21 home runs. If Cano continues to play at this high level, he could very well challenge Mike Trout for the AL MVP this year. 

Currently Cano's ranks consistently well among AL players in the some of these top categories:

  • 6th in BA: (.320)
  • 9th in HR: (21)
  • 6th in R: (61)
  • 5th in SLG: (.583)
  • 6th in OPS: (.964)

Moreover, if anyone can continue to build on a 20 game hitting streak, it's Cano.