Mark Canha, 6'1", 200 lbs.
26 years old
Bat/Throws: R/R
First, Third, Outfield


2010: Drafted by the Marlins in the 7th round.

Overall prospect in baseball...
Baseball America (X), Baseball Prospectus (X)... never

Overall numbers: .285/.375/.474 with 68 HRs, 303 RBIs, 293 runs and 18 SBs over 496 games


2014: Acquired by the Athletics from the Rockies after Colorado picked him up in the Rule 5 draft (he was traded for cash and Austin House). He will have to remain on the big league roster all year as a result.

2015 START: .367-1-7-7 with a .933 OPS over six games

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Born in San Jose California, Mark Canha attended the University of California at Berkeley. I'm admittedly predisposed to like him, being a bay area native who's grandparents on my mother's side met at CAL in the 1930's. So there's that.

Things you need to know about Canha.

He was never an elite prospect.

He didn't see the big leagues until he was 26 years old after spending five full seasons on the minors.

A polished hitter, being exposed to the Rule 5 draft clearly shows that the Marlins didn't see a star in the making. The fact that the Marlins then traded him... ditto.

Clearly Canha has had a hot week to start his big league career, but let's bring some perspective here.

(1) Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick have been hurt. When healthy they will take up two spots in the Athletics lineup. The Athletics have Ike Davis at first, Brett Lawrie and third and Billy Butler at DH. The A's will have to be really inventive with their lineup to get Canha in there consistently if the club is healthy.

(2) Canha has only six games of big league experience under his belt. It's a loooooong season, and young players often get exposed when the "book" gets out on them. How will Canha adjust when that time comes?

(3) Let's talk skills.

In the minors Canha didn't show much in terms of lefty/righty splits which is great to see. Here are the numbers from 2011-14.

vs left: .305/.390/.486
vs. right: .277/.371/.467

He hit a few more grounders against righties (41 to 36 percent) and a few less fly balls (30 to 33.5 percent) though, and that would seem to present a wee bit of a limit to his potential power outlook against righties. However, he has made up for the lack of fly balls against righties by boosting his HR/F ratio against them (16.9) compared to lefties (12.8). Truth be told, there's not much lefty/righty split stuff to worry about with Canha. 

Here is Mark taking some cuts in the minors.


As for his work this season...

I don't like seeing six games and no walks.
Pretty sure he's not holding on to a .385 BABIP either.

Two final pluses for Canha.

(1) He can play three different positions defensively.

(2) The Athletics, as much as any team in baseball, love to platoon guys meaning Canha will likely continue to find himself in the lineup provided he produces. 


Tip your hat to the kid for his strong start but it's unlikely that we will be talking about Canha in two months. His minor league track record is solid, but the fact that teams were giving up on him has to make you think long and hard about his future. There's also the fact that he was never looked at as an elite player in the scouting world. Scouts aren't always right, not even close, but it's something to think about with Canha. Given the fact that it's hard to envision him being a star, or finding a spot in the daily lineup, you would be wise to temper expectations with Canha. Long-term he's likely only going to help those in AL-only leagues. Best case scenario, and I mean every possible thing goes right for him in 2015, would be Khris Davis last season. Worst case? He ends up getting five at-bats a week and is barely usable in AL-only leagues. That's a pretty big spread to be going all-in with Canha.