Dustin Pedroia Versus Robinson Cano

Dustin Pedroia Versus Robinson Cano

Last week we briefly got into a little spat over the question of who is the better second baseman: Boston’s Dustin Pedroia or New York’s Robinson Cano. After our previous looks at David Ortiz versus Alex RodriguezTom Brady versus Derek Jeter, Tom Brady versus Peyton ManningMichael Jordan. versus Kobe Bryant, and Luke Harangody versus Shelden Williams, I couldn’t resist. So here it is….

I’ll start by saying this: Robinson Cano was a rookie in 2005, whereas Pedroia was a rookie in 2007 (Can0 is 28, Pedroia is 27). Given his past two seasons, you’ve got to give the edge to Cano. That said, for comparison’s sake, I think it’s much more fair to compare the first 4 seasons of each player’s career. Cano’s numbers popped in his 5th season, and Pedroia’s were beginning to pop last year until he was sidelined with an injury. A look at the first 4 years of each players career might be enlightening in telling how good each of these players could end up being.

Dustin Pedroia (2007-2010) – .307 AVG, 16 HR, 76 RBI, .374 OBP

Robinson Cano (2005-2008) – .304 AVG, 17 HR, 87 RBI, .336 OBP

Those numbers are adjusted 162 game averages for sake of comparison, and needless to say they are pretty damn similar. Let’s look at other accolades earned during that time:

Dustin Pedroia (2007-2010) – 2007 World Series Champion, 2007 Rookie of the Year, 2008 All-Star, 2008 AL MVP, 2008 Golden Glove, 2008 Silver Slugger, 2008 League Leader in runs (118), hits (213), & doubles (54), 2009 All-Star, 2009 League Leader in runs (115), 2010 All-Star

Robinson Cano (2005-2008) – 2006 All-Star, 2006 Silver Slugger

Pedroia clearly wins in this department by a landslide. Why is this, given their similar statistics? A great question. The common sentiment seems to be that Pedroia’s play had a bigger impact on his team. He certainly has displayed more leadership early in his career than Cano has. That said, he’s going to have a tough time keeping up with Cano in terms of power numbers, although he was off to a great start least year. Regardless of who you prefer, these are probably the two best second baseman in baseball. This will be an interesting rivalry to watch develop, that’s for sure.

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Filed under Baseball, Player Comparisons

48 responses to “Dustin Pedroia Versus Robinson Cano

  1. Teck

    *the 2 best 2nd basemen in the AL

  2. Teck

    29 HR’s, 105 rbis, 15 SB’s, .293 AVG, and .380 OBP – those are the numbers of the best second baseman

  3. A. Rab Money

    I think this is a very interesting comparison indeed. I would probably admit that thus far it seems Pedroia has the edge with the accolades he won through his first 4 seasons, since thats what you compared. Given last season though Cano has showed what most Yankee fans have waited for since 05′. The way I look at this is Pedroia had a better start to his career, Cano is a better player right now, both defensive and offensive, and Cano certainly has a lot more potential with his size and athleticism. Like you said it will be interesting to see how these players continue to grow since they are both just hitting their primes and will likely be facing off for years to come.

    • I agree with what you said, for the most part. I’m not sure that saying Cano is better offensively will be fair — his power numbers will likely be better but Pedroia will have him in OBP, runs, and likely hits/doubles. It looks like both of them will be going head to head for quite some time though, and you do have to give the Yankees credit for giving Cano time to blossom.

  4. j-bone

    I see why you only counted four years of each but that really makes no sense, they are one year apart and Dustin wasn’t MLB ready at the same time not Cano’s fault. The funny thing is you used the right stat to look at players who have not played the same amount of time or have missed time in the per 162. If you looked at the real 162
    Cano- R 92 H195 HR 21 RBI 91 AVG 309 OBP 347
    Pedroia R 110 H 194 HR 16 RBI 74 AVG 305 OBP 369

    Still very similar but I think due to power it has to be Cano by a nose.

    In terms of acomplishments if you count Cano’s recent years he adds a world series, a gold glove, a silver slugger, and a world series title. He also put up numbers last year that were better the Dustins MVP season.

    Comparing these two the way you did is like comparing the Steelers and Pats from the 2000’s by saying, well the Steelers were not ready to compete in 2000-2003 so those seasons dont count, now lets look at the numbers.

    Teck- when you play the Mets, Marlins, Nationals, and Braves a majority of your season Williams could put of respectable numbers

    • The point of my comparison was not “who is major league ready.” It was, given the first four years of each players MLB career, how do they stack up in comparison? Cano’s power numbers didn’t jump until his 5 year in the league. Pedroia, last year (in his 4th season) was showing a big jump in his power numbers. We’ll have plenty more seasons to see what each of these guys ultimately develops into.

      • j-bone

        Well if you pick a specific time period to make a comparison I could find a 5 game stretch when Antoine Walker played better the Jordan and declare him a better basketball player, it wouldn’t be true though

      • I’m not picking a random period for sake of making an argument — I’m picking the first 4 years of each of there careers (Pedroia has only played 4 years).

  5. Teck

    Dont hate Utley has better numbers then both of them…end of story whatever the Rays used to suck and orioles and blue jays were putrid too

  6. Williams

    Cano is a better hitter. Pedroia is a better player. Hes better at defense, works pitchers more, and is a “pesky” out. I was going to mention intangibles but it seems silly as I don’t watch Cano enough to know if he has any.

    Cano works for the Yanks because he can bomb balls to right, certainly enlarging his power numbers. Pedroia works for the Sox because he lasers balls off the wall.

    I’d take either. Cano if you have a great defensive SS and 1B. Pedroia if you need sure hands and someone to run up pitch counts

  7. A. Rab Money

    we all know that all the sox fans think pedroia is better and all the yanks fans think cano is better. Can we get an opinion from an outsider on this to see who is more respected around the league? Teck we know you love that pedophile looking terd, chase utley, but how about your opinion on these 2?

  8. A. Rab Money

    no im trying to say he is chase utley THE pedophile becuase of his slimy slicked back hair style that makes him look like he molests boys.

    I guess we are not getting any answer from Teck on this. Anyone else out there who is impartial that can shed some light on the subject?

  9. Teck

    I think this is a wait and see situation…Cano had his best season ever last year. Pedroia had an awesome 2008, but as far as MVP’s go it seems questionable. He showed some decline in 2009 and then came back with a vengeance to begin the 2010 season, injury however shortened his season.

    At this point in time id have to go with Cano because hes on a nice streak and with pedroia we just dont know how long itll take for him to return to form. Also with pedroia i feel like the sample isnt large enough hes only really played 3 full seasons and while theyve been good, im not sure theyve been great. sure he likable, pesky and a tough out…but ill take a season like cano is coming off of everytime over pedroia’s “MVP” of 2008

    • I think that any player who hits .326 while leading the league in hits, runs, and doubles deserves the MVP. Can you even make a good argument against that?

      • Teck

        It was a fine performance in a year where there werent really any other stand out performances….but Cano had a better year in 2010 and finished in 3rd place. Where as had someone had a season like Cano just had in 2008 they would have won.

        It was a great year by Pedroia but Morneau and K-Rod were his only competition in 2008. If you put pedroias numbers in 2010 hes maybe finishing fourth.

      • Youk was his competition that year.

      • j-bone

        He may have deserved the MVP that season but that doesn’t mean it was a great season. His numbers if you compare to other mvps in the last ten years are not that good, I did that this summer in the comments somewhere. Cano’s numbers were better last year then Dustins MVP year. So no one is taking that away but just saying that it was a weak year so it does not mean as much.

      • It was the best season in the league that year, making it a great season.

      • j-bone

        Just because it was the best that one time does not make it great hate to tell you. If the best guy that year hit .212 with 6 home runs, 2 doubles, 115 strike outs and 34 errors that would not be great. It was a weak year for mvp canidates and Pedroia won. No one is going to take away his trophy but dont act like that was a great season. Cano just put up better numbers then that “great” season.

      • His power numbers were better. That doesn’t mean his season was better. Pedroia had a better average, more hits, more doubles, more runs, more steals. Does that not count? Also, I’d argue that all that matters is year by year how you stack up compared to your peers. They make changes to balls, bats, the mound, and countless other factors that affect the game in a big way. Look at year by year home run numbers for proof of that, as well as ERA. Dustin was the best that year. Cano was not the best this past year.

      • j-bone

        No one is saying that he wasn’t the best that year. We are saying that his numbers if you compared them to other MVP’s are very weak. Making him a weak MVP.

      • Again, all your looking at is power numbers. How many other MVP’s hit .326 or higher and led the league in at least 3 other major offensive categories? Look it up.

      • A weak MVP is a oxy-moron as it is. That’s like saying a weak super bowl champion. Look that up — you’ll find a picture of your boys. They were in fact voted the luckiest super bowl winners ever. Pedroia was never rated the weakest MVP ever.

      • j-bone

        Your boys were also voted the most disappointing super bowl losers so you have that going for you which is nice.

      • Yea, Tom just went home to Gizelle. Some of the other players cried, but they wiped there tears with the three other super bowl trophies they had kicking around.

      • j-bone

        Did you go to college, it is very easy to lead the league when no one is playing well. How about you look up how Dustin’s numbers stack up against all other mvps from the 2000’s

      • j-bone

        and they blew their noses on the one loss they had that year, in the super bowl, to the giants, when eli out played brady

  10. Teck

    ps Utleys better than both

  11. Teck

    Regardless right now I’d take Cano who is coming off of his best year yet, that is better than Pedroias best year ever (which was two year ago.) Also Pedroia is coming off of some serious injuries.

  12. A. Rab Money

    There you have it, Cano wins.

    • It’s amazing that you people made it through college. I said, in the first paragraph, that you have to give the edge to Cano. I then stated that I’d compare there first 4 seasons to see who had the better start to their career. J-Bone jumped all over this saying it wasn’t a fair comparison. Read people, read.

  13. Teck

    ok i reread your article….how am i supposed to remember that it was alsmot 24 hrs ago. alright then Cano has the edge, but Pedroia had a better first four seasons. canos fourth season led to the best year of his career while pedroias fourth ended in season ending injuries, i dont see him rebounding with a career year yet.

    also the point you made about leadership is kind of tough when the yankees have arguably one of the greatest leaders in the history of baseball on the team, while pedroia stepped into a team that had no real leader with manny and a steroid scandal papi dealin with their own issues. so i dont necessarily think its fair to knock cano for this.

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