All-Star Yanks like Cano’s Derby chances
Tonight, Robinson Cano will step in as something of an underdog in the State Farm Home Run Derby — that is, except to the players who know him best. The Yankees didn’t bat an eye when David Ortiz called Cano’s name for the competition, and those who are here think there’s a chance that Cano could have a night to remember.
“It’s the kind of thing that you dream of as a kid, watching back in the day, guys like (Mark) McGwire and (Sammy) Sosa,” Cano said. “You want to know how it feels to hit a long ball and the fans cheer for you. I’m just going to go out there, have fun and enjoy it, not try to do too much. If I win it, perfect. If not, I’m just happy to be here. I’ll try not to let all those people down that cheer for me.”
Cano said that he will have his father, Jose, throwing to him. Jose Cano pitched in the big leagues with the ’89 Astros and is still Cano’s regular batting practice pitcher during the offseason.
“He’s the kind of guy that always watches me the whole season. He knows me really well. Who better than him?” Cano said.
“He’s got as good a chance as anybody. I take BP with him every day. He has the type of effortless swing that I don’t really see him get tired. He doesn’t have to put that much effort into his swing. He can just stay up there and swing all day and keep hitting homers.
“I don’t think he is [an underdog]. Not having the cage around and being his first time, if he gets past the first round, I can really see him taking it. I think the big key for him is going to be the first round.”
“I like Cano’s chances in the Home Run Derby. I’m going on record with that. I think he can [win it]. I’ve seen him in BP. He’s very impressive.”
“He’s a strong individual. I think people don’t realize how strong he is. His lower half is very solid and thick. He generates a lot of power and momentum from there. He’s got big hands, which kind of doesn’t seem to correlate too much to hitting, but when you’ve got big hands, there’s also some strength in there. He’s getting really good whip on the ball. His swing is very compact, so a mixture of all those different things will help him out today, as long as he gets his pitches in the zone. He should be able to gear up and drive some a very long way.”