We are just about one month into the young Major League Baseball season and already one New York Yankee is having a tremendous year. Not just a tremendous year, though. A year worthy of the Most Valuable Player Award and a batting title.
I am of course speaking about the red-hot Robinson Cano, who at the end of the season could be wearing many crowns. In fact, I would not be surprised if he wins Player of the Month for April, undoubtedly just the first of his many accomplishments this season.
The young second baseman is absolutely locked in, going 16 for his last 24.
En route to the Yankees’ 4-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles tonight, he was 3-for-4 with two home runs, a double, two RBIs, and three runs scored. Cano is currently on an eight-game hitting streak and is showing no signs of slowing down.
He is currently leading the Yankee team in practically every hitting category, and at press time is sporting an average of .407. Tonight marked the sixth time in his career he has gone deep twice in one game.
If you were to touch the hem of Cano’s jersey right now, you would get burned.
Just looking at his swing and everything he is doing at the plate right now, Cano is making me think of (a young) Ken Griffey, Jr. His easy swing and effortless follow-through resembles that of Griffey’s.
Comparing Cano to a hitter of Griffey’s caliber might seem bold, but it’s the truth. Back in the day, Griffey could just put on a hitting show night after night, and that’s exactly where Cano is at the moment. He is exciting everyone and is the talk of every game.
Maybe his new nickname should be “Cano: The Kid 2.0.”
Going 5-4 on their nine-game road trip, the Yankees will now head home to play the Chicago White Sox for the first three games on their six-game home stand. On the road, Cano pounded out 17 hits and knocked in a total of seven runs.
He may not want to leave the road as he is currently raking, but something tells me he will continue to do just fine hitting at Yankee Stadium. After all, his average at home is .318, so I’m reasonably sure he will have no problem coming home.
But it isn’t just about his hitting.
Cano is playing some of the greatest defense I have ever seen from a second baseman. He is, without question, the best second baseman in the American League, maybe in the entire league. He proved that tonight.
Making a spectacular play in the field, Cano robbed Nolan Reimold of a base hit. He ranged all the way over to the left side of the second base bag, and tossing an off balance throw, nailed Reimold at first base for an out. Cano was actually on the outfield grass when he made the throw.
That play made even Derek Jeter drop his jaw. Cano is quite the defender.
Helping Cano out tonight was A.J. Burnett, who tossed eight innings of shutout ball. The lanky right-hander surrendered no runs on just three hits. He issued only one walk and struck out four.
Burnett, a veteran pitcher who has been in the league since 1999, improved his record to 3-0. 2010 is the best start he has ever gotten off to, as he has never begun a season with a record of 3-0.
Dr. Jekyll-Burnett showed up tonight and it was just what the Yanks needed to take the series from the O’s, two games to one.
Burnett also improved his lifetime record to 10-2 against the Orioles and remains undefeated at 5-0 in Camden Yards. He seems to love to pitch against Baltimore.
I can once again say: Burnett was dealing like he was playing blackjack in Vegas. (My new favorite analogy every time a Yankee hurler tosses a great game)
A tip of the cap also goes to Marcus Thames, who had three hits and knocked in a run in the game. Alex Rodriguez also knocked in Derek Jeter with a sacrifice fly in the first inning to get the Yankees on the board.
However the real story of the night: Cano and his tear. Throw a bucket of water on him right now and he would probably still be the hottest hitter in baseball.
There’s a reason he is my favorite Yankee. I have been saying for months what a great player Cano really is. And tonight just proved my point.