Can Canseco Really Make a Come Back?

February 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm 7 comments

Jose Canseco Laredo Broncos Photo

This is not exactly news: Jose Canseco thinks he can make a comeback and play in the Major Leagues at the age of 45. This seems a bit far fetched, not only due to his age but due to his knack for pointing the finger and turning his back on the clubhouse confidential unwritten rule.

Canseco has not played in the Major Leagues since 2001 when he posted a .258/.366/.477 line with an OPS+ of 117, wRC+ of 121, and 16 homeruns in 256 at-bats, good for an rWAR of 1.0 and fWAR of 1.1, walking in 14.7% of his at-bats with the White Sox.

In 2010 Canseco played in 11 games with the Independent League Laredo Broncos. Canseco hit .385/.510/.769 (15-39) with 3 doubles, 4 homeruns, and a 9/10 BB/K rate. Yes, the competition is something along the lines of AA ballplayers who couldn’t hack it, but impressive numbers for a 45 year old in a professional sport. Canseco also looks to be in great shape and his bat speed seems to be at least where it was in 2001. Take a look at his first homerun with Laredo in the video (at the 3:05 mark):

This is not proof he can hit Major League pitching. In fact, at the 2:45 mark he swung and missed against what appears to a left-hander that probably tops out around 90 mph on a high radar gun. But it is proof that he still has bat speed and can still hit a ball a long way in game conditions.

The other thing would hold Canseco back was his platoon split his last two seasons in the Majors. Playing for both the Yankees and Rays in 2000 he hit .286/.398/558 against left-handers in 93 plate appearances and only .242/.370/.409 against right-handers in 308 PAs. In 2001 he crushed left-handers to the tune of .273/.395/.697 in 81 PAs and hit .253/.356/.409 in 225 PAs against right-handers.

So, the main question was “Can Canseco really make a comeback?” I honestly would love to see it happen. Physically and skillfully I do believe Canseco could make a successful comeback as a DH that plays everyday against left-handers and only hits against soft-tossing right-handers. Realistically, though, I don’t see a team allowing Canseco in their clubhouse, thus making any return to the Major Leagues near impossible.

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2011 Rays Projections: Reid Brignac 2011 Rays Projections: Matt Joyce

7 Comments Add your own

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  • 2. Charlie  |  February 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    There was a video via twitter (that you posted) of him hitting a softball over 500 feet. I’m not sure if he can hack it, but it appears he’s trying to get on board overseas somewhere in Asia at the moment.

  • 3. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  February 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I’d like to see him given a shot. He has the power and bat speed but no position, age is against him, and there is always the clubhouse problem. Japan may be a good place for him to go.

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jasoncollette and Jonathan C. Mitchell, Figure Filbert. Figure Filbert said: New Post: Can @JoseCanseco Really Make a Come Back?: RT! #MLB #Canseco #Rays #Yankees #WhiteSox #Broncos […]

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  • 6. Robert Sullivan  |  February 3, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Canseco is probably one of the most polarizing figures since Jim Bouton and that alone will keep him out of any major league clubhouse, even if he could hit still. I’m not sold that it will happen, but Japan is a good option as some of your other commenters have pointed out.

  • 7. Chris Reed  |  February 4, 2011 at 8:35 am

    More then likely Japan is about as far as he’ll get, which is too bad. He’d probably be one of the better hitters for a few teams (Pittsburgh anyone?)


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