Cano vs. Pedroia…your pick?


Most baseball fans would agree that Dustin Pedroia is well on the road to Cooperstown and virtually any Red Sox fan would say that he is the Second baseman they want in the clutch for a hit, or a game-changing defensive gem.  But, new salary aside, is he the most valuable Second baseman in the game today?

Although Pedroia just signed an extensions and the total value is the largest ever for a second baseman, and the average annual value ($14M total through 2021) is the second highest behind Ian Kinsler’s deal ($15M), we will not use dollars in our comparisons.

To avoid writing a novella, let’s compare Pedroia to Robinson Cano.

“One is a dirt dog type of player, gritty and fearless. The other is a natural, so smooth he makes it look almost too easy.” [ANTHONY RIEBER]

OK, first let’s run the STANDARD numbers for 2013, which are representative of their career stats:


CANO:           4.9       [#1 MLB]

PEDROIA:     4.5       [#2 MLB]


CANO:           .901     [#1 MLB]

PEDROIA:     .804     [#4 MLB]


CANO:           .382     [#3 MLB]

PEDROIA:     .384     [#2 MLB]


CANO:           .299     [#6 MLB]

PEDROIA:     .306     [#4 MLB]


CANO:           .519     [#1 MLB]

PEDROIA:     .420     [#8 MLB]


CANO:           21        [#1 MLB]

PEDROIA:     6          [#15 MLB]


CANO:           69        [#2 MLB]

PEDROIA:     58        [#4 MLB]


CANO:           53        [#5 MLB]

PEDROIA:     58        [#2 MLB]


CANO:           6          [#15 MLB]

PEDROIA:     14        [#3 MLB]


CANO:           72.1     [#2 MLB]

PEDROIA:     65        [#4 MLB]


The Baseball Cube website allows you to compare players and this is how they rank Cano and Pedroia for CAREER stats:

Speed Contact Patience Batting Power

CANO              49





PEDROIA        54






Pedroia RHB

Vs.  RHP  .300

Vs.  LHP  .309

Cano LHB

Vs.  RHP  .317

Vs.  LHP  .289

The website Baseball Players Salaries [] offers this interesting comparison for 2013:


Percent of team’s payroll

Percent of team’s on-field performance

6.53 %                           13.24 %


Percent of team’s payroll

Percent of team’s on-field performance

6.57 %                            25.79 %


At fantasy baseball website CDM Sports, where Cano ranked #1 in salary and Pedroia ranked #4, behind Phillps and Kinsler, you would have to pay more to have Cano on your team:

Robinson Cano




Dustin Pedroia





Pedroia was the 2007 AL Rookie of the Year and 2008 AL MVP; Cano has never won a major award.

"FUN FACT:  The best “bang-for-your-buck”  at 2b in 2013?  HINT: Cleveland"

A: Jason Kipnis, who you will find near Cano and Pedroia on almost any stat list.



*  Cano has more power than Pedroia, who is a better base runner [SBs] and has a higher on-base percentage.

*  Cano has better standard defensive stats, but Pedroia leads Cano in fielding percentage .990 to .987 and has fewer errors, but Cano has more range.

*  Pedroia gets on base more often because of his plate discipline and ability to draw walks.

*  Pedroia may get more hits, but Cano gets more extra-base hits to have a greater impact.


June, 2013 ROTOgraphs:

“Robinson Cano didn’t enjoy a stellar month, but I don’t think anyone is legitimately worried about his rest-of-season performance. He still posted a .220 ISO and his walk/strikeout rates remained relatively consistent. Consider it a blip on the radar — especially considering his .256 BABIP in May — and expect to enjoy elite production throughout the rest of the year.

Dustin Pedroia has been interesting. He owns a .377 wOBA and an on-base percentage north of .400. He also is on pace to steal more than 20 bases and score approximately 100 runs, yet numerous fantasy owners are wondering the same thing: where’s the power?

He’s compiled a career-low .111 ISO thus far in 2013 and only has three home runs in 258 plate appearances. That’s not what we’ve come to expect from Pedroia. The biggest culprit appears to be his ground-ball rate, which currently stands at a career-high 53.1%. His HR/FB isn’t obscenely low, but he hasn’t given himself many chances to hit home runs this season because he’s hit the baseball on the ground so frequently.”


“The perception is that Cano can have more of an offensive impact and he appears to be more marketable.

It’s clear, however, that Dustin Pedroia will continue to be the heart of the Red Sox for the better part of the next decade.”

[Andrew Perna, RealGM website]

NL scout:

“A lot of people may disagree with me, but when you watch the little things he does, the way he plays the game . . . I’ll tell you this, if you’re a teammate and you don’t emulate his desire and hustle on a baseball field, you don’t have a pulse. This guy is inspiring. And he doesn’t have to say a word to be inspiring. I would take any young kid I had on my team and say, ‘Watch how this guy plays the game.’

Cano gives you some power that Pedroia doesn’t. He may hit for a higher average and he’s excellent defensively. He’s an MVP-type guy even though Pedroia’s won that award and Cano hasn’t. I may be crazy, but I’d take Pedroia on my team over Cano.”


Strictly on the basis of the stats reviewed, on paper: Cano.

But, as philosopher Alan Watts remarked: “The universe is wiggly.”

Translation to baseball truisms:  They don’t play baseball on paper, they play it on dirt and grass; Dustin Pedroia plays it on guts and heart.

If I am managing the All-Star game and I need a hit to win the game, my mind says “Cano,” but my gut says…

"“Grab a bat, Pedey…”"


 Hall of Fame Second basemen: