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Entries in Robinson Cano (22)

Monday
Jul152013

HR Derby Preview: Team Cano

Citi Field's Home Run Apple will get a workout tonight, as some of the game's preeminent power hitters aim for the fences during the 2013 All-Star Home Run Derby (8 p.m. ET on ESPN). Team Robinson Cano (including Yoenis Cespedes, Chris Davis, Prince Fielder) will take on Team David Wright (Pedro Alvarez, Michael Cuddyer and Bryce Harper). Here's a breakdown of dingers hit by Team Cano as you ponder which tally will be higher -- attendance at Citi Field or the number of "backbackback"s belted out by Chris Berman.

Robinson Cano

Where he hits 'em: Cano has been pull-happy in 2013, hitting 13 of his 21 homers to right field. He has also hit four shots apiece to center and left field.

Cano's HR spray chart

 

Hard or soft stuff? He's doing most of his damage against "soft" stuff -- breaking and off-speed pitches. Cano has hit seven homers against sliders, tying Miguel Cabrera for the major league lead. He has four HR off curveballs and three on changeups, giving him a total of 14 HR against soft pitches. Only Cabrera and Chris Davis have more homers against sliders, curves and changeups.

HR sweet spot: Despite his tendency to pull the ball, Cano has hit most of his home runs (13) on pitches thrown on the outer half of the plate. He's also loves stuff thrown at the knees, hitting 16 home runs on pitches thrown in the low half of the strike zone.

Pitch location of Cano's HR

 

Yoenis Cespedes

Where he hits 'em: Cespedes just about never goes oppo (he has just one HR to right field), but he has plenty of power to right field (8 HR) and center (6 HR).

Cespedes' HR spray chart

  

Hard or soft stuff? Cespedes likes high-velocity stuff, hitting 11 of his homers against fastballs, cutters and splitters.

HR sweet spot: Like Cano, Cespedes hammers knee-high pitches. Twelve of his HR have come on stuff thrown to the lower half of the zone.

Pitch location of Cespedes' HR

 

Chris Davis

Where he hits 'em: Everywhere. Davis has 14 homers to the pull side, 12 to center, and nine to left field. His next opposite-field shot will make him the first batter to hit double-digit homers to all fields this season, a feat that only Miggy pulled off in 2012.

Davis' HR spray chart

  

Hard or soft stuff?  It doesn't seem to matter what pitchers throw to Davis, as he leads all hitters with 20 HR against hard pitches and is tied with Cabrera for top honors against soft stuff (15 HR).

HR sweet spot: As you might expect from a slugger with so many opposite-field and center field homers, Davis is crushing pitches thrown to the outer half of the plate. His 24 outer-half HR lead the majors -- and it's not even close. His closest competition, Raul Ibanez, has 18.

Pitch location of Davis' HR

 

Prince Fielder

Where he hits 'em: While Fielder has yet to go oppo this season, he has 11 homers to the pull side and five to center field.

Fielder's HR spray chart

  

Hard or soft stuff? He has gone deep nearly an equal amount against hard pitches (9 HR) and soft stuff (7 HR).

HR sweet spot: Unlike Cano and Cespedes, Fielder is a high-ball hitter. Prince has pounded 10 HR against pitches thrown in the upper half of the strike zone.

Pitch location of Fielder's HR

Monday
Jun242013

Who won't be an All-Star for the Yankees?

Spoiler alert:

Just about everyone.

The only Yankees heading  to Queens for the July 16 All-Star game are Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera.

It is truly amazing to see the lack of qualified Yankees after so many years in which fans feared that the Yankee starting lineup would represent the American League in the mid-season classic.

Position-by-position

  • AL catchers are hitting .245, with an OBP of .313 and slugging .406. The three Yankee catchers, Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart, and Austin Romine, are hitting .227/.293/.330 and none are worthy of consideration
  • First basemen are hitting .263/.338/.451 in the AL and the Yanks are hitting .214/.277/.402. With all due respect, Lyle Overbay is not an All-Star.
  • Second basemen are hitting .272 and while Dustin Pedroia is hitting .311, voters prefer Cano's .283 because Robby has 16 homers to Pedey's four.
  • Third basemen in the AL are also hitting .263. Yankee third sackers Jayson Nix, Kevin Youkilis, Chris Nelson, and David Adams are hitting .246, but they third base slot for New York has produced four homers in 300 PA.
  • "All-Star Shortstop" was Derek Jeter's unofficial prefix. This season Yankee shortstops are hitting .205. I don't want to give any other numbers.
  • Let's go to the outfield and dream about Mickey Mantle, Bernie Williams and Bobby Murcer.
  • AL outfielders are hitting .259/.321/.415. Yankee outfielders are hitting .261 (thank you Brett Gardner)/.311/.399. But, let me remind you that these numbers reflect every person who has played the outfield this season, not just the guys who deserve to be All-Stars.
  • The Yankee Designated Hitters this season are hitting .205 (gasp!). Even Robby Cano has only hit .154 as a DH.
  • There is one Yankee starting pitcher who could get consideration to go to Citi Field and that is Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda has a 2.98 ERA and is the only Yankee starter with an ERA under 4.09. But Hiroki is only 7-5 and there are too many more successful starters than Hiroki and three of them pitch for Detroit.
  • Mariano would be an All-Star this season, if he just showed up, but Rivera is showing up batters and is tied for the major lead league with Jason Grilli and Jim Johnson, with 26 saves. And as hard as I have tried to get him to start, it appears that Mariano will be on the hill in the 9th, no matter what the score, no matter how few people are watching.

So there you go It's Robinson Cano and Mighty Mo As the rest of the Yanks, are just so-so.

Tuesday
May142013

About one in three Justin Upton's fly balls are home runs

Joe Sheehan has a great piece in the 5/13 edition of Sports Illustrated presenting the case for Justin Upton.

Sheehan writes about Upton, "He's swinging harder and missing more pitches (a 12% swing-and-miss rate, his highest since 2009), but he's crushing the ones he's hitting: An absurd 35.3% of his fly balls leave the yard."

This got me curious as to who else has a high flyball to HR percentage.

To his credit, Sheehan in his article was quick to point out, "Upton isn't going to hit 60 bombs. His home-run-to-fly-ball rate isn't sustainable; his career mark coming into this year was 13.2%. The league leaders in the category usually end up around 25%."

As you can see from the chart above, Upton has already dropped down to 30.2%.

Not surprisingly, right behind him are Ryan Braun and Bryce Harper, both with numbers in the upper 20th percentile. But it may surprise you (because it did me) how good Mets teammates John Buck and Lucas Duda's numbers are.

Carlos Gomez and Ryan Howard are both at 15.8%

Then you have to look and wonder what s going on with David Wright, Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, and Buster Posey, all of whom are in the 13th percentile of flyballs turning into homers.

Take a look at the guys under 10% and you will be amazed to see names including Alfonso Soriano, Jay Bruce, Andre Ethier, and Matt Kemp.

Their teams have to be wondering what happened to the power?

Looking at the AL and we see Mark Trumbo and Michael Morse's power in action

Chris Davis is pounding the baseball and the Indians have to be thrilled with the success of Mark Reynolds and Carlos Santana.

Robinson Cano is making it more and more expensive for the Yankees to keep him. And, Chris Carter and Jose Bautista have identical numbers.

But what has happened to the Red Sox' Mike Napoli and Will Middlebrooks?

In the 15th percentile are a number of batters including: Miguel Cabrera, Mitch Moreland, Alex Rios, Josh Willingham, Adrian Beltre, Alex Gordon and Mike Trout.

And their numbers are better than Adam Jones, Billy Butler, Albert Pujols (10.6%!) and Josh Hamilton (10.0%!!).

There is a lot of warning track power being exhibited these days, but just remember there is a much better opportunity for something good happening on a fly ball than on a strikeout.