What to Expect From Robinson Cano In Year 2 With the Mariners


Only 22 more days until Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and the rest of the 2015 Seattle Mariners suit up and get outside for their first full-squad Spring Training workout.

Yesterday I doled out my expectations for #23 Nelson Cruz. Today, let’s do the same with the $240 million dollar man in the middle of the Mariners order: Robbie Cano.

In his debut season with the Seattle Mariners, Robinson Cano was entertaining and produced exactly the way he needs to. In 157 games he batted .314/.382/.454 with 14 home runs, 82 RBI, and 77 runs scored. He also carried a 9.2% walk rate with a low 10.2% K rate. Though those 14 home runs were his fewest since 2008, he is still capable of moving that slugging percentage back over .500 once again.

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Steamer projects Cano to age a bit more in his sophomore season in the northwest, with a .295/.360/.461 triple slash. They predict 18 home runs, 82 RBI, and 81 runs scored to go with an 8.6% walk rate and a 11.9% K rate. Mathematically, with solid defense at second base, Robinson Cano is projected to be worth 5.2 WAR, the exact WAR total he accounted for in 2014.

So how close are these numbers to accurate for Cano? Steamer is under the impression that Cano will provide more power at the detriment of his batting average, dropping below .300 for only the second time in his Major League career (in New York, 2008).

I, on the other hand, expect Cano to get into the 17-20 home run range without giving up his average. Not only that, but with the addition of Nelson Cruz likely batting 4th, Cano will have more support throughout the lineup, forcing opposing pitcher’s to engage him more often.

If I had to throw out a triple slash for 2015, I project a .305/.378/.467 line with 18 home runs, 90 RBI. This with a 9.1% walk rate and a 10.9% K rate.

With those sort of numbers, coupled with my projected numbers for Nelson Cruz, the Mariners would have 48 home runs and 178 RBI between the Mariners 3 and 4 hitters. Those would be welcomed numbers, especially considering the power outage from the DH spot in 2014.

So what do you think? Can Robinson Cano produce like he did in 2014 and vault the Mariners into the postseason?