Cano has played well so far this season, but now he's ready to put himself into MVP consideration.
His Power Numbers are Starting to Improve
In April and May, Cano only had a combined two home runs. In June, however, he doubled that amount with four.
The summer heat is here, which allows the ball to travel farther than it normally would in the colder spring months. If Cano and the summer can stay hot, he can easily double his power numbers.
Another good sign for the superstar second baseman is that he has increased his slugging percentage every single month (excluding the one game he played in March).
Not to mention Cano's batting average has also increased. So far in July, he is hitting .370, which raises his total to .328 for the season. The chart below shows Cano's progress throughout the season:
The Mariners are in the Playoff Hunt
Only a game-and-a-half behind the final wild-card spot, Cano will step up and carry his team to the postseason. On the New York Yankees, Cano was usually just one of many superstars, but on the Mariners, he's their leader.
After Cano signed his lengthy new contract, many fans criticized him for only caring about money rather than winning. If Cano wants to shut up his doubters, he'll need to get hot and lead this team into October.
Also, if Cano wants to win the hearts of the Mariners fans, he can help bring this team to their first postseason appearance in more than a decade (2001). Which ironically, they lost to the Yankees.
The Mariners Will Have to Outplay the Yankees
After he left New York, many Yankee fans were quick to badmouth their ex-superstar. Even Yankee great Mariano Rivera criticized Cano. Per Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News:
This guy has so much talent I don’t know where to start… There is no doubt that he is a Hall-of-Fame caliber (player). It’s just a question of whether he finds the drive you need to get there. I don’t think Robby burns to be the best… You don’t see that red-hot passion in him that you see in most elite players.
Ouch. After a shot like that, it's obvious that Cano probably wants to prove his determination.
With the Yankees also contending for that last wild-card spot, Cano will get a chance to both prove his passion and get revenge on his old team.
New York fans already miss Cano's bat considering their new second baseman, Brian Roberts, is hitting .239 with only five home runs. Dan Hanzus, writer for Around The League, compared the two second basemen:
Brian Roberts doesn't quite have the same grace as Robinson Cano.— Dan Hanzus (@DanHanzus) July 22, 2014
Not to mention every single Yankee in the starting lineup is currently hitting below .300 by a lot. The only starter even close is Jacoby Ellsbury with a .282 batting average.
If Cano can stay hot throughout August and September, he could arguably be a top-five player.
All stats are courtesy of ESPN
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