With Robinson Cano’s leap into the arms of his father after he hit the winning home run in the Home Run Derby, he fulfilled a dream almost every boy has. A father-son celebration on the biggest stage. Cano’s historic Derby championship was all the more special because his father, Jose Cano, was throwing to him.
The moment has been an exclamation point on a young career filled with accomplishment. Only one other second baseman has won the Home Run Derby (Ryne Sandberg won in 1990 in front of his hometown Wrigley Field crowd). In his seven years so far in the big leagues, he is hitting .308. He has over 1,100 hits and 131 home runs. He strikes out only 12% of the time. He finished third in AL MVP voting last year. Basically, he’s real good.
At 28 year old, Cano has probably nine to ten more productive seasons ahead of him if he remains healthy. He’s averaging 167 hits per season, so he’ll likely finish his career with close to 2700. Cano has a real shot at a career average greater than .300 and a career on-base percentage greater than .330.
Only time will tell where Cano ultimately finds himself when he hangs up his cleats and stops turning double plays at second base. In the mean time, Cano can settle in as the new face of the New York Yankees. With Alex Rodriguez’s shine continually diminishing in his post-steroid career and Derek Jeter stepping towards retirement, Cano is poised to be the next Yankee superstar.
For now though, Robinson Cano can celebrate a record 12 home run performance in the final round of the Home Run Derby to propel himself past Adrian Gonzalez. He can celebrate an up and coming career. And he can celebrate alongside his dad.