Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees is off to a very good start this season. In 13 games, Cano is hitting .302 with four home runs and 11 RBIs. With Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira all on the DL, Cano is clearly the best hitter in the Yankees’ lineup right now and it will be his job to carry the load until these guys come back.
I am calling it right now: Cano will be the American League MVP this season. I know that the Yankees have only played 13 games this season, but Cano is not one of those players who starts off hot and then cools off by May. He’s a guy that will continue to put up power number throughout the entire season.
First of all, it’s Cano’s contract year, and players tend to do well when they are in the last year of a contract. See Adrian Beltre in 2004: a .334 batting average with 48 home runs and 121 RBIs. Josh Hamilton in 2012: a .285 batting average with 43 home runs and 128 RBIs. Cano’s salary demands will go up depending on his numbers this season.
Second of all, the MVP race in the American League this season is pretty thin. Other than Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout, I do not see anyone challenging Cano for the title. Since 2010, Cano has averaged a fourth place finish in the American League MVP voting, so you get the feeling that he’s due.
When the Yankees’ big bats come back, it will only improve their lineup. Cano hitting around these guys will increase his numbers and bolster his chances of winning the award.