Mar. 15, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) hits a solo home run during the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Raising Cain

One more week…..One more week…..

There’s been plenty to talk about the last few weeks, what with injuries, trades, and questionable demotions. It’s been enough to take the wind out of the sails a little bit.

I, having grown particularly fond of said wind, have decided not to touch on these things very deeply today. I wish that Salvador Perez could start the year with the team and that Felipe Paulino hadn’t struggled so much this spring and that Johnny Giavotella hadn’t been “struggling” with his defense.

Unfortunately, things happen and you have to make do with what you have. So I’ve decided to be positive and get excited about our outfield.

Alex Gordon has finally been resigned to a long-term contract, Jeff Franceour, while not projected to be as strong offensively this year, still has a hose for an arm,* and finally, FINALLY, I get to see how good Lorenzo Cain is.

*and a winning smile

I like to pick one player each season to specifically support and get behind as the season starts. This season is exciting because there are many players that could be poised to break out. It’s hard to pick one of them. Danny Duffy could become a solid starting option this year. Moose could suddenly start raking. I think everyone agrees that there’s a likely chance that Eric Hosmer makes huge leap this year on the path to superstardom.

However, these are the trendy picks, and the hipster* in me screams against the norm. Thusly, I’m rooting for Cain to have a fast start and a huge breakout year in what will be his first complete** major league season.

*I’m about as un-hipster as you can get

**Knock on wood

Cain has had a pretty impressive spring. Currently, he’s got a spring slash line of .394/.467/.788/1.255

Couple that with some exciting defense in center field and some speed on the basepaths and Lorenzo’s got me pretty excited about his possible abilities to make Royals fans forget Melky Cabrera, which, though I appreciate the season Melky had last year, I’m perfectly content to do.

There has been speculation that Lorenzo’s swing is a little long and that he may fall in love with trying to hit the long ball and strike out too often. I recognize that possibility, but until it’s the regular season and Cain stops hitting like a maniac, I don’t see the reason to find fault before it exists.

I also happen to love outfield defense and the fact that Cain is able to cover so much ground out in center while having a plus arm, well it just makes me get that much more excited. This is one aspect of his game that is already definitively better than Cabrera’s and I’m excited to see him, Gordon, and Franceour patrolling the outer confines of Kauffman.

So, as it is election year, I’m giving my early-season backing to Cain as Royals breakout player of the year. I may be wrong. I often am. But if I’m not, I get to rub it in everyone’s face.

Sounds good to me.

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Kansas City Kansas City Royals KC Royals Lorenzo Cain Regular Season Spring Training

  • somedevil04

    good article, I agree that Cain  is certainly one of the most interesting players to watch this year.  If he hits anything like he has in spring, the Royals will have a wonderful option to put in the two hole.  I don’t agree that he has a plus arm (I considier it average), but he more than makes up with his great range.  Before spring training, I wasn’t really interested in Cain, but his display of hitting ability makes me interested.  If he hits, the Royals offense could be one of the best in baseball.

  • Alan_Barrington

     I was fortunate to attend a couple of Spring Training games in Surprise and I came away with the same impression you have – Lorenzo Cain could very well be the Royals’ breakout player this year.  He didn’t have a chance to display any of his Plus defensive prowess while I was there (there simply weren’t many opportunities for him during the games I attended) but I really enjoyed watching him hit.  I remember watching him walk up to the plate while I was only 20 feet away in row 6, so I had a very good look at him, and I Twittered from the stadium that he carried himself like a stud.  He hit just as well as his numbers would indicate while I was there.  I could go on, but I’ll just say that I’ve graduated from the “hoping he’ll be a good replacement for Melky” camp, to the “confident he can be a good replacement for Melky” camp.  I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t make RoyalNation very happy this year.

  • ethanbryan

    For a position player, I’m rooting for Alex to repeat last year.  For a pitcher, I’d like to see Hochevar have is first 20 win season.  Those are my picks-to-click…