If you were guaranteed to land Stanton with prospects you would get for trading Cano today, would you do it?
I couldn’t see getting enough in prospects for Cano to flip same prospects for Stanton. Probably would still have to include some of the Yanks existing top 5 prospects to get it done (Sanchez, Williams, DePaula, etc.)
This isn’t where you ask questions, but I’ll give my own answer: in a heartbeat. Stanton is younger, arguably a better hitter, and under control for much longer. Not to mention Cano’s a free agent in 6 months and, while a trade could leave a bad taste in his mouth, it’s not like the Yankees wouldn’t have any chance to go after him. Cliff Lee sure went back to the Phillies easily after being traded away. Even if they couldn’t get him, they essentially replace one superstar with another, younger one.
That said, you would need to take the Cano haul plus 2 or 3 top prospects to even get the Marlins talking, so this doesn’t make sense. Extend Cano (I’d say to a reasonable contract but it won’t happen, we’ll live), continue developing prospects, and if at some point we do have the pieces for Stanton, look into it. I’m not as willing to gut the farm as some others are, seeing as we do need to start producing more than just one Major Leaguer from the system soon, but if it improves to a point where we can afford to give up a huge haul without completely decimating it, you have to do it.
In terms of hitters struggling without “protection,” I’m not sure that there’s any evidence of that. Anyone have a study on the subject?
That said, as an impatient hitter Cano could possibly be more prone to struggling without protection than an equally talented but more patient (and therefore better) hitter. So, in terms of the question about what a hitter is to do when he gets nothing but “junk”… don’t freaking swing at it. As I will explain, I do not think that’s his problem. He is actually swinging at fewer pitches outside the zone this season, seeing more FBs, and hitting FBs worse (all per fangraphs).
Overall I am far from convinced that his problem is actually protection. He is actually seeing more fastballs than last season and the FBs he is seeing are slower on average than last season. While these things can be interrelated, he is actually struggling to hit FBs this season and not off-speed pitches.
.364/128 in less than half a season is probably not outside a reasonable range of expectations for Cano. On the low end certainly. It’s still a pretty small sample in the scheme of things. A hot second half and this could be a blip. Although if he doesn’t get hotter, it could really cost him in free agency.
How many of those fastballs are in the zone? There is the possibility that Cano, knowing there really isn’t anyone behind him who’s going to hit for power, is pressing for XBHs. He’s hitting homers beyond his career norms and hitting doubles well below. Maybe if there were a big hitter or two behind him he would be more content hitting the other way, racking up singles and doubles, and getting knocked in. Not saying this is all it is, but there is some evidence for it. Cano does have the highest walk rate of his career at 9.1%, but I have a feeling there are some ABs where he goes out of the zone hoping for exta bases, knowing that if he walks there’s a very high chance he’ll be stranded there. Of course, this contradicts the data that he’s swinging at fewer pitches out of the zone, but it could be happening at just the most inconvenient times.
I just have what’s on fangraphs. He’s swinging at fewer pitches outside the zone. I have no reason to assume that is any different for FBs, which are the most common pitch, but I have no idea.
Anything is possible, but your explanation pretty much indicates that it is Cano’s own fault. If he is pressing too much, that’s on him.
Oh of course, I’m just trying to remedy the “it’s Cano’s fault” and “it’s a lack of protection” explanations. It seems to be a bit of both at work. He’s in a bad mindset which is partly caused by the lack of protection, but he’d be better served not worrying about it, taking the walks he’s given, and hitting what he can. This is inevitably going to include hitting pitches out of the zone since plate coverage is one of his strengths, but perhaps he’ll be smarter with which ones he chooses.
Or maybe this is all incidental, and really it’s just a slump. It’s not like an .861 OPS is bad; all it takes is a few scorching hot weeks to get that over .900, which is safely in the elite realm.
I just read through a few of my answers and realized a few points that should be included:
1) To Trey — regarding the Yankees system in comparison to the Cards…
I’m sure the team is full vested in doing everything they can and are absolutely serious. I just don’t know if they have the same ability to A) recognize the talent and B) develop it. Might be a personnel thing.
2) To Diego — regarding some of the hitters slumping…
Adams has a hot start but is a rookie. The league is going to make adjustments and he’ll have to learn how to hit consistently. I was saying a few weeks ago to temper expectations for him. It’s hard to just come up to The Bigs and become (and stay) an impact hitter. As for Hafner, I don’t think he’s completely healthy (as is always the case). Point is, Long can help a guy with mechanics but won’t work miracles. The players need to do their job.
3 To CashmanHasToGo — regarding Cashman’s performance…
I think it’s silly to say that re-signing Sabathia was a mistake. He was absolutely a fantastic pitcher for us prior to his re-signing, and the Yankees took a chance that he could be their ace heading forward for a few more years. He was about as consistent as they come. I don’t blame him at all for making that move. Ask yourself this, if they passed on CC, who would you have been more comfortable with them taking a chance on? No one is perfect, and no one is sure proof.
Clearly the answer is Yu Darvish and convert Yoenis Cespedes to a pitcher. Clearly.
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