Believe it or not, the Yankees RBI leader is Mark Teixeira. Derek Jeter leads the team in hits, Curtis Granderson leads in home runs and Alex Rodriguez has the most stolen bases. But their best player is exactly who we thought it would be.
I suppose you could make a case for Rafael Soriano as the first-half MVP — great numbers while filling a massive void — but Cano just might be on his way to the best season of his career, and that’s saying something. His .963 OPS is higher than it’s ever been at the end of a season, and he’s on pace to easily top his career high in home runs. He’s top 12 in the American League in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, and at this rate, he’ll once again be in the conversation for AL MVP.
The biggest knock on Cano is that he has just 51 RBI at this point, putting him on pace for fewer than 100 for the first time since 2009. It’s primarily the product of his .193 batting average with runners in scoring position, making Cano one of the worst offenders of one of the Yankees biggest offensive problems.
Even so, he’s clearly the heart of this lineup. It’s surely little coincidence that the Yankees had their best month of the season in June, when Cano hit .340/.416/.730 with more than half of his first-half home runs. He’s the heart of this lineup, and even with biggest names around him, Cano is what makes the Yankees offense tick.
He came into this season with high expectations, and so far, he’s met them.
Associated Press photo