Debating Cano, Upton


Over at Rays Anatomy, they’re having a debate regarding Robinson Cano and BJ Upton. Anatomy’s writer Eric SanInocencio takes on Pending Pinstripes author EJ Fagan. They each make strong cases, so I’d consider the initial round a toss-up. However, the debate raging in the comments is all Cano. Someone actually said they’d rather have Brandon Phillips than him. Pass that crack pipe this way, please.

Categories : Asides
  • Bo

    Since BJ plays CF is this much of a debate?

    He’ll look good in pinstripes in 4 years.

  • Tubby

    I don’t understand this debate either. It’s like comparing A-Rod to Rocco Baldelli or Posada to Carl Crawford. Any objective fan would admit that Upton has more offensive potential than Cano, but so what. They don’t play the same position and they don’t play the same offensive role on their respective teams. It’s a pointless debate.

  • http://www.mvn.com/mlb-rays Eric SanInocencio

    I know a few of you have mentioned that comparing these two is apples and oranges. To me, that’s the point of having these debates.

    If they play the same position, often times it turns into a numbers game. What I want to do is make you think, and take into concern all the information regarding different types of players.

    We know both of these guys are fantastic, but the goal here is to make you choose ONE OF THEM.

    Again, I wanted the difficulty of selection, so that it would create debate as to why you think second base or centerfield is harder to fill. That’s the point.

  • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees EJ

    I think that the differing positions add clash to the debate. I think we had a very interesting discussion in the comments about the value of a 2b and a value of a CF. Very interesting stuff.

    Thanks for the nod.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    I’d take Bossman Jr. eight days a week and twice on Sundays.

  • rbizzler

    Be honest now, BJ is absolutely terrible in CF. He takes awful routes and has a strong but erratic arm. What do you think his prospects for improvement defensively are (offensively, we know he rakes)?

  • Ivan

    Hey BJ upton could play on my team anyday of the week. Once he improve his k rate, the guy is gonna be a star if not superstar player.

    Here’s a good question is Cano the best pure hitter in the yankee line up right now?

    • Glen L

      I think its a fairly interesting debate, made more interesting by the different positions played. Think of it this way .. if these two fell to you in a draft, which would you take?

      I would take Cano because of the offense and defense he brings at 2B and the progress he’s made as a hitter. BJ is nasty, no doubt about it but that .390+ BABIP is worrisome and, although I’ve really only see him play against the yanks, I’m not sure why people assume his K rates will go down .. he’s struck out a ton ever since reach AAA (not that a high K rate makes you a bad player .. look how many times A-rod Ks .. given its not as bad as BJ at this point in BJ’s career)

      And yes, I have little doubt i’m at least being a tad bit of a homer here

  • Count Zero

    It’s a tough call, but I would have to go with Upton. Seems like he has more potential to be a dominant player.

    I’d be quite happy with either though, and there’s a good chance both will be on plaques when all is said and done.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    The only thing Cano has on Upton is that he hits lefthanded. Upton’s a better hitter, much more patient, and better defensively. Not even a debate in my opinion.

    • Glen L

      For what its worth if you look at both players weighted mean PECOTA for next year

      Cano 6.2 WARP/ .287 eqa/ 30.7 VORP/ 122-63 K-BB

      Bossman Juniorn 4.3 WARP/ .275 eqa/ 18.7 VORP/ 65-30 K-BB

      I think its certainly a debate :)

      • RollignWave

        Did you have those backward? at least the K/BB part?

        • Glen L

          nope :) cano doesn’t strike out much but although he’s improved his walk rates he still doesn’t do it very often

          those are each of their respective projections

  • http://www.mvn.com/mlb-rays Eric SanInocencio


    You can’t know that BJ is terrible as a centerfielder. He doesn’t have enough games to satisfy any rating at this point. All we know is that he has great speed and a fabulous arm, and his brother (who is better by the way) made a seemless move the the outfield.

    Whether BJ will do that is well is up to debate, but just becuase was terrible in the infield doesn’t mean it will be the same case in center. Have to wait and see.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    I think BJ’s a perfectly fine CFer considering his experience level at that position. He’ll get better at his routes in time. The only problem with his arm is that he still throws like an infielder, kinda sidearm, which leads to some wild throws.

  • RollignWave

    The issue becomes though, do you take Ken Griffey Jr or Roberto Alomar? Derek Jeter or Manny Rameriez ? they’re both awsome players and it’s just difficult to quantifiy what their really worth.

    (no Robbie isn’t Alomar but he’s probably closer to that than Upton is to Jr.)

    The end game becomes pretty simple though, a CF SHOULD hit a 2B to be even worth the disscusiion in the first place, and we all agree that Upton should be able to outhit Robbie, just not sure by how much.

  • Glen L

    crap i’m sorry haha

    i did mix up the K-BB rates … the rest of the stats are the correct projections but Cano is projected as 65-30 K-BB and BJ is 122-65 K-BB

    apparently i’m partially dyslexic … good catch

  • Glen L

    crap i’m sorry haha

    i did mix up the K-BB rates … the rest of the stats are the correct projections but Cano is projected as 65-30 K-BB and BJ is 122-65 K-BB

    apparently i’m partially dyslexic … good catch