Judging by his 2022 performance with the Mets, it’s hard to see it: after all, he hit .195/.233/.268 with a .501 OPS in 43 plate appearances, with just one home run.
The Mets, needing the roster spot, designated him for assignment and released him.
But the Padres are taking a chance, and there might be something to work with here if we broaden the sample and the search.
“Here’s partly why the Padres are taking a shot on Cano. 2022 Statistics, Winter Ball: 17 Games: 64 PA = .344 / .419 / .406 /.825. Spring Training: 8 Games: 27 PA = .360 / .407 / .440 / .847. MLB: 12 Games: 43 PA = .195 / .233 / .268 / .501* *released,” MLB insider Jon Heyman tweeted.
Here’s partly why the Padres are taking a shot on Cano
Cano 2022 Statistics
17 Games: 64 PA = .344 / .419 / .406 /.825
8 Games: 27 PA = .360 / .407 / .440 / .847
12 Games: 43 PA = .195 / .233 / .268 / .501*
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 13, 2022
The numbers after the triple slash at each stop are his OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage).
Diminished Power Production
In limited samples, he performed well in Winter ball and in spring training, with .825 and .847 OPS marks, respectively.
However, there is also a worrying trend not mentioned by Heyman: his lack of power.
Generally speaking, it’s hard to hit home runs in Winter leagues for many reasons, but his .062 isolated power was not good.
He had a .080 isolated power in spring training, and a .073 mark in MLB.
Sluggers typically surpass .200 of isolated power, and Cano’s career mark is .188.
He is well off his pace when it comes to power production, and while more at-bats could help wake up his bat, it’s not a given, especially not at 39 years old.
Cano’s best years are probably behind him, but there is a non-zero chance he can rebound to some degree in San Diego.