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Robinson Cano

Robinson Jose Cano was born on October 22, 1982, in San Pedro de Marcoris in the Dominican Republic. Robinson did not see a lot of his father early in life. Jose spent much of his time trying to hook on with a big-league club in the U.S. In 1987, he joined the Houston organization, posted a 15–3 record for Osceola, and was named MVP of the Florida State League. Jose made it to the Astros for six games in 1989 but could not stick. He continued to pitch professionally, playing for two Taiwanese teams in the 1990s. Jose finally retired in 1999, at the age of 37.

By that time, Robinson had developed into one of the best young players in the Dominican Republic. He was strong and quick, with good instincts and mechanics in the field and a smooth, flat swing that put a charge into the baseball.

Robinson Cano

Robinson also spoke excellent English, the result of three years living in New Jersey. He spent seventh, eighth and ninth grades in the Newark school system, attending Barringer High for one year.
Robinson handled himself well at the position. Interestingly, his favorite player was not a shortstop. In fact, he wasn’t even a Dominican. The man he most admired was Bernie Williams, a Puerto Rican. There was something about the way Williams carried himself and played the game that struck Robinson as being special.

What interested local scouts most about Robinson was his hitting. It didn't hurt that his dad served as his batting coach. Jose understood the difference between a good hitter and a bad one, and ironed out flaws in his son’s swing as soon as he spotted them. Needless to say, having an active professional pitcher throw him batting practice had an extremely positive effect on Robinson’s baseball IQ. In January of 2001, Robinson inked a deal with Carlos Rios, a scout for teh New York Yankees.

Robinson played all but two games of his first pro season with Tampa of the Gulf Coast League. He joined fellow prospects Dioner Navarro and Bronson Sardinha under the tutelage of manager Derek Shelton. Robinson earned time at second, third and short. He batted .230 but led the club in RBIs.