If I Really Had To Pick: Robinson Cano Or Dustin Pedroia?

Shanan H.Analyst IDecember 3, 2009

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 04:  Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees celebrates with the trophy after their 7-3 win against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Six of the 2009 MLB World Series at Yankee Stadium on November 4, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Both are great.  Both play in the AL east.  Both would be an upgrade over most other second basemen in the league.  But who's better?

Let's start looking:

We'll start out by compairing straight out statistics.

Cano batted .320 last year, with 25 homers and 85 RBI.  He accounted for 103 Yankee runs, and stole five bases.

Pedroia spent last year batting .296, with 15 homers, 72 RBI, 115 runs, and 20 steals. 

Both hit 48 doubles.

Looking at just these stats, I'd pick Cano.  He has more homers, RBI, and a higher batting average.

Here's the fielding compairison:

In 2009, Cano had 12 errors, compaired to Pedroia's mere 6.  Palacido Palanco, the best fielding second baseman in the league had 2.  Cano's fielding percentage was .984, to Pedroia's .991.

Pedroia's UZR was 9.8, to Cano's -5.2.

Pedroia is a substantially better player, however, Cano's superior hitting still puts him in front.

Not, the advanced stats.

Using the WAR, RAR, Batting, and Fielding values, I have come to a conclusion.

Dustin Pedroia is much more important to the Red Sox than Cano is to the Yankees.

Not to say that Pedroia is the better player, I'm getting to that, but if Cano was replaced, that move would only cost the Yankees 4.4 wins.  Pedroia leaving would cost 5.2 runs.

Pedroia's batting value is 15.7.  Cano's is signifigantly better at 23.9.

Pedroia's fielding value is 8.3, to Cano's -2.2.

I am going to call this one a draw.  Someone who wants fielding at second base needs to choose Pedroia.  Hitting, choose Cano. 

I'm going to compair career stats:

Pedroia hit .307, Cano .306.

It's that close.

Look, if I had to pick one, I would choose:

Robinson Cano.

I love his swing and see him improving in the future, espcially in hitting.  Pedroia won't get much better than he is tody, although he is right now a very good player.

I also love what Cano brings to the clubhouse.  He is a great spirit, and he is very fun to watch play.

Red Sox fans, I know you will be mad.  Leave your testemony as to why Pedroia is better, and I will take that into consideration.

BY THE WAY:  Anyone who uses "Pedroia has won an MVP, Cano hasn't," I will stop reading immediatly.  If Pedroia deserved it last year, than statistically, it should have gone to Jose Lopez or Johnny Damon.  Don't use the MVP excuse. 

  • All statistics retrieved at fangraphs.com.


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