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The Robinson Cano Fantasy Baseball Market

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Has the fantasy baseball market moved on?

Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The fantasy baseball marketplace is beginning to take shape as Draft & Hold (D&H) Leagues start up. I previously broke down the first five rounds of my Early Draft & Hold League. Shortly after that post I selected Robinson Cano in the 10th round (pick 143).

The Cano trade rumors have been floating around all offseason, however, at the time of the selection they were not as prevalent as in recent days. Assuming Cano is traded it will be interesting to see if his ADP rises. A Robinson Cano reunion in the Bronx would not only add run production upside, but also an improved park factor for his waning power.

Robinson Cano currently has an NFBC ADP of 145th overall. This appears to be his price, at least for now—a ninth or tenth round selection in 15-team mixed leagues.

The two factors working against Robinson Cano in the current fantasy baseball marketplace are age and lower statistics due to last year’s suspension.

Cano will play next season at age 36. He’s certainly on the back-nine of his playing career. A return to 2016 production is a dream, however, that does not mean the cliff is here and we’re all going over the edge. In fact, I’d argue the opposite.

Cano began serving his suspension May 14th, 2018. At the time Cano had 143 at-bats, four home runs and a .287 batting average. Cano was clearly locked in at the plate with a 0.91 BB/K and a hard hit rate of 43.4%.

Once Cano returned on August 14, 2018, he continued his tear at the plate, slashing .317/.363/.497 (.860 OPS) with six home runs. Cano’s walk rate was cut in half during this time period, however, his strikeout rate did not rise. It appears Cano was receiving more strikes during the second half and used his hot bat to take advantage of the league’s generosity.

Cano’s skill set is resisting severe age decline quite well.

Robinson Cano Skills History

Season Team Age PA AVG OBP SLG BB% K% BB/K SwStr% GB% LD% FB% ISO HR/FB Spd Soft% Med% Hard% Pull% Cent% Oppo% wOBA wRC+
Season Team Age PA AVG OBP SLG BB% K% BB/K SwStr% GB% LD% FB% ISO HR/FB Spd Soft% Med% Hard% Pull% Cent% Oppo% wOBA wRC+
2016 Mariners 33 715 0.298 0.350 0.533 6.6 % 14.0 % 0.47 8.2 % 45.9 % 18.0 % 36.1 % 0.235 19.3 % 2.2 17.9 % 46.6 % 35.5 % 38.9 % 35.2 % 25.9 % 0.370 139
2017 Mariners 34 648 0.280 0.338 0.453 7.6 % 13.1 % 0.58 8.6 % 50.0 % 19.4 % 30.6 % 0.172 14.7 % 2 12.7 % 50.4 % 36.9 % 39.4 % 35.7 % 24.9 % 0.334 113
2018 Mariners 35 348 0.303 0.374 0.471 9.2 % 13.5 % 0.68 8.2 % 47.9 % 22.6 % 29.4 % 0.168 12.8 % 1.3 11.3 % 47.2 % 41.5 % 34.7 % 37.0 % 28.3 % 0.364 136
Robinson Cano is still quite good at baseball Stats Courtesy of FanGraphs

Steamer is still high on Cano with the following 2019 Projection:

649 PA | 79 R | 23 HR | 87 RBI | 1 SB | .283/.343/.460

The projection looks quite a bit like Cano’s 2018 season...had he not been suspended. While there’s plenty of assumption in that statement, it just goes to show that sometimes markets behave irrationally. I’ll be continuing to add to my shares of Robinson Cano all through the 2019 draft season.