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Robinson Cano

This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Canó and the second or maternal family name is Mercedes.
Robinson Canó
Canó with the Yankees in 2012
Free agent
Second baseman
Born: (1982-10-22) October 22, 1982 (age 31)
San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic
Bats: Left Throws: Right
MLB debut
May 3, 2005 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Batting average .309
Home runs 204
Runs batted in 822
Hits 1,649
On base percentage .355
Slugging percentage .504
Career highlights and awards


Dominican Republic National Team

Robinson José Canó Mercedes (Spanish pronunciation: [ka 'no]; born October 22, 1982) is a Dominican American baseball second baseman who is currently a free agent. He made his debut in Major League Baseball with the New York Yankees in 2005, after spending four years in the minor leagues.

Canó is a five-time All-Star (2006, 2010–2013) and five-time Silver Slugger Award winner (2006, 2010–2012). He won two Gold Glove Awards (2010, 2012) and has been named American League Player of the Month twice (September 2006, April 2010). In 2011, Canó won the Home Run Derby. He was a member of the Yankees' 2009 World Series championship team and the Dominican Republic's 2013 World Baseball Classic championship team, for which he won tournament's most valuable player award.

Family and early life

His father, José Canó, signed with the Houston Astros in 1980 and pitched in six games for them in 1989. Robinson was named after baseball legend Jackie Robinson.[1]

Canó was born in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic, and grew up in the Dominican Republic, though he lived in New Jersey for three years. He spent seventh, eighth, and ninth grades in the Newark school system, attending Barringer High School for one year.[2] When his family moved back to the Dominican Republic, Canó attended San Pedro Apostol High School in San Pedro de Macorís, where he played for the school's baseball and basketball teams.[3] In the Dominican Winter Baseball League he plays for his hometown team, the Estrellas Orientales.[4]

Medal record

Playing career

Minor leagues (2001–2005)

After graduating high school, Canó was signed by the Yankees in 2001 as an amateur free agent, receiving a signing bonus of over $100,000.[5] He began playing in their minor league system that season, debuting with the Gulf Coast Yankees of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and the Staten Island Yankees of the Class-A Short Season New York-Penn League. Canó played for Staten Island and the Greensboro Bats of the Class-A South Atlantic League in 2002. Canó played for the Tampa Yankees of the Class-A Advanced Florida State League and Trenton Thunder of the Class-AA Eastern League in 2003, by which point he was viewed as a top prospect.[6] Canó appeared in the 2003 All-Star Futures Game.[6]

Canó was one of the five prospects offered to the Texas Rangers to complete the Yankees' acquisition of Alex Rodriguez before the 2004 season. The Rangers selected Joaquín Árias instead.[5][7][8]

Canó began the 2004 season with Trenton, receiving a promotion to the Columbus Clippers of the Class-AAA International League. When the Kansas City Royals began to seek trade offers for Carlos Beltrán, the Yankees moved Canó to third base in an effort to showcase Canó for the Royals.[5] The next month, the Yankees attempted to trade him to the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of a package to acquire Randy Johnson.[5] He began the 2005 season with Columbus.

New York Yankees (2005–2013)


Canó was called up to the Major Leagues on May 3, 2005, while hitting .330 in 108 at bats with Columbus, and took over second base from Tony Womack.[9] Canó belted his first career grand slam this season as well. He finished second in American League Rookie of the Year balloting to Huston Street of the Oakland Athletics.[3] Canó finished the year, however, with the third-worst walk percentage in the league, 3.0%.[10] During 2005, manager Joe Torre compared Canó to Hall of Famer Rod Carew. Torre clarified that he meant that Canó "reminded" him of Carew, in terms of his build, presence at the plate, and smoothness in his swing.[11]

In 2006, Canó led the American League (AL) All-Star balloting at second base, but could not play after being placed on the disabled list for a strained hamstring. After his return from injury, however, on August 8, 2006, Canó led the league in batting average, doubles, and runs batted in.[12] During late September 2006, Canó accumulated enough at-bats to once again qualify for the AL batting race. Canó was rewarded the AL Player of the Month award for September.[3]

Canó finished 2006 with the third best batting average in the AL (.342, just 2 points behind teammate shortstop Derek Jeter and five points behind Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer), and 9th in the league in doubles (41). He also led the AL in batting average on the road (.364; 96/264) and after the 6th inning (.353; 55/156). He had the third-worst walk percentage in the league at 3.6%.[13] Canó received three votes for AL MVP.[14]


In 2007, Canó gave up his number 22 to Roger Clemens, choosing to wear the number 24, a reversal of Jackie Robinson's number 42, in tribute to him.[15] After a slow start to the 2007 season which saw him hit a meager .249 through May 29, Canó found his stroke batting .385 in the month of July with 6 HR and 24 RBI to raise his season average to .300 by the end of the month. He finished 2007 sixth in the league in games played (160), ninth in triples (7), and tenth in hits (189), doubles (41), and at bats (670). He was the only batter in the top 10 in doubles in the AL in both 2006 and 2007.

On January 24, 2008, Canó signed a contract extension for $28 million over the next four years in the 2008 through 2011 seasons. The deal also includes options for the Yankees for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, worth $27 million.[16]

Canó struggled early in the 2008 season, hitting only .151 in April with just 7 RBIs. He improved later in the year, hitting .300 from May through August.

Canó recorded the final walk-off hit in Yankee Stadium history by singling in the winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning in the Yankees 1–0 victory over the Orioles on September 20, 2008. In the final game at Yankee Stadium the next night (September 21, 2008), Canó recorded the final RBI in Stadium history with his sacrifice fly in the 7th inning, scoring Brett Gardner with the Stadium's final run. Canó missed only five games over the 2007 and 2008 seasons, and was one of only three Yankees to hit a home run as a pinch hitter.[17]


In 2009, Canó hit .320 with 204 hits, 25 home runs and 85 RBIs.[18] Canó ranked in the top ten among players in the American league in hits, extra base hits, total bases, at bats, doubles, batting average, runs scored, and triples. It was his first year hitting over 20 HRs. His 200th hit against the Boston Red Sox to clinch the AL East Division made him and Derek Jeter the first middle infield duo in MLB history to both have 200 hits in the same season.[19]

His 204 hits ranked third for hits during the 2009 season, and first among all second basemen. Canó also led second basemen in batting average.[18] Canó also played in 161 games which was the most games played by a player during the 2009 season.[18] He also hit his first career walk-off home run: a 3-run walk-off home run on August 28 against the White Sox.[20] On November 4, Canó threw out Shane Victorino for the final out of the 2009 World Series.[21]

With the departure of Hideki Matsui, Canó was moved into the fifth spot in the batting order.[22] For his early season performance, Canó was named the American League Player of the Month for April 2010.[23] He was elected as the starting second baseman in the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and was selected to participate in the 2010 Home Run Derby;[24] however, he withdrew due to a minor injury.[25] He finished the season with a milestone 200 hits and 100+ RBIs (109).

Canó has performed ably in the middle of the lineup, replacing Matsui and Alex Rodriguez while Rodriguez was on the disabled list, as he has improved his batting with runners in scoring position.[26]

Canó hit .343 with 4 home runs and 6 RBIs in the 2010 postseason. He finished the season with a .996 fielding percentage, the best for a second baseman in MLB, committing only 3 errors in 158 games. He turned 114 double plays and recorded 341 putouts. Canó won the American League Gold Glove Award for second basemen in 2010, the first by a Yankee second baseman since Bobby Richardson's five-year run from 1961 to 1965. Canó also won the American League Silver Slugger Award for second basemen with a batting average of .319, 29 home runs and 109 runs batted in.[27] In addition, finished third in the voting for American League MVP.


Canó had a rough first half to his defensive season. By July, he had committed twice as many errors as he had in his entire Gold Glove-winning 2010 season, in which he had three.

Canó was selected for the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game as a starting second baseman, and was chosen to participate in the 2011 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby. With his father pitching, Canó won the derby, setting a record for home runs in the final round with 12 home runs despite having an additional four outs remaining.[28]

Facing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 10, Canó fell a single short of hitting for the cycle. It marked the second time in his career that he missed the cycle by a single (the first being in 2005).[29] Canó finished the 2011 season had 188 hits and a career high in RBIs with 118.

In Game 1 of the 2011 American League Division Series, Canó hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 6th inning to put the Yankees up 8–1. It marked his fourth grand slam of the year, including the regular season. He sandwiched the home run between two run-scoring doubles, giving him 6 total RBI for the game.[30] The Yankees would eventually lose the division series in a 5-game span.


Canó began the 2012 season very slowly, hitting only one home run in April. Canó recovered to hit 7 homers in May, and a career-high 11 home runs in June. He returned to compete in the 2012 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby but was not able to repeat the previous year's victory. Instead, he hit zero home runs and finished in last place, and was booed by the Kansas City fans for not having chosen the Royals' Billy Butler to participate in the competition. He became the 9th player to fail to hit an HR in the Derby, and first since Brandon Inge did in 2009.

On Friday, July 20, 2012, Canó extended his career-high hitting streak to 23 games with a single off of Oakland Athletics pitcher Tommy Milone in a 3–2 Yankees loss. And, in the last 10 games of the season, he went on a ferocious tear, going 24 for 39 for an .615 average with 3 home runs, 7 doubles and 14 RBI.[31] Canó finished the 2012 season with a .313 batting average, 48 doubles, 33 home runs, and 94 RBI.

Ironically, after this impressive stretch, Canó performed poorly during the postseason. Over his first eight games in the 2012 ALDS and ALCS, he batted .083 (3-for-36), including a stretch from October 9–16 when he was hitless after 29 at-bats, the longest hitless streak for any single year of the postseason play in MLB history.[31] In the Game 4 finale, when the Tigers' sweep of the Yankees was complete, again Canó went 0–4, and his 2012 postseason average dropped to .075 (3-for-40).[32]

On October 29, the Yankees exercised Canó's club option for 2013 worth $15 million, keeping him away from the open market for another year.[33]


Canó began the first half of the 2013 season with a .302 batting average, 21 home runs, and 65 RBI. He was named the American League captain for the 2013 home run derby.[34] During his only plate appearance of the 2013 All-Star Game, he was hit by a pitch thrown by Matt Harvey and suffered a right quad contusion. Cano left the game and was replaced by Dustin Pedroia. He only played for two pitches.

On August 20, he hit his 200th career homer, a three-run blast to center field off of the Toronto Blue Jays' Esmil Rogers in Yankee Stadium.

World Baseball Classic

Playing for the Dominican Republic during the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Canó batted 15-for-32 (.469). The Dominican Republic defeated Puerto Rico 3-0 in the finals to win the World Baseball Classic and became the first undefeated team in the tournament's history. Canó was named the Most Valuable Player of the Classic.[35]


Personal life

Canó is noted for his charity work. Hackensack University Medical Center (in New Jersey) named a pediatric rehabilitation ward after him.[41] Cano has a son, also named Robinson, who lives with his mother in the Dominican Republic.[42]

On November 13, 2012, Canó became a naturalized United States citizen.[43]

See also

Biography portal
Baseball portal
Dominican Republic portal


External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo! profile
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Travis Hafner
Billy Butler
American League Player of the Month
September 2006
April 2010
Succeeded by
Alex Rodriguez
David Ortiz
Preceded by
Joe Blanton
American League Rookie of the Month
September 2005
Succeeded by
Jonathan Papelbon

Template:Dominican Republic 2009 World Baseball Classic roster Template:Dominican Republic 2013 World Baseball Classic roster

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