May 18, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) singles in a run against the Baltimore Orioles during the fourth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Lorenzo Cain is the Royals Best Hitter

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At the beginning of the season, if asked who the Royals best hitter would be heading into June, most of the guesses would likely have involved Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer or Salvador Perez. Given Butler’s track record, and the hopes that we all had for Hosmer and Perez this season, any of the three would have been a reasonable guess. Instead, Butler has struggled throughout much of this season and Hosmer has started the season off slowly.

While Perez is presently second on the Royals in OPS+ at 101, the team leader heading into last night’s game against the Houston Astros happens to be Lorenzo Cain. Cain, who has produced a .301/.354/.379 batting line with six extra base hits in his 103 at bats this season, presently leads the Royals with a 102 OPS+. Right now, the Royals have exactly three regulars who have an OPS+ of 100 or better in their lineup, despite 100 being considered average.

Throughout his career, Cain has been a relatively productive hitter while on the field, putting together a .270/.322/.380 batting line with 13 home runs. Cain is unlikely to ever be much of an extra base threat, typically using his speed for doubles and triples. That has reflected in his career OPS+ of only 91, which is an indication of his offensive prowess.

There are many things that Lorenzo Cain can provide. Cain is one of the best defensive outfielders in the game, someone who may end up winning a Gold Glove award if he can remain healthy. His excellent speed not only serves him well in the outfield, but also on the basepaths where he has been successful in 83.7% of his stolen base attempts. Yet, while Cain is certainly a solid player, there are just some things that he should not be expected to be. Being the best hitter in the Royals lineup is definitely one of them.

Eventually, hopefully, the Royals lineup will begin to produce. Hopefully, Eric Hosmer will heat up and Billy Butler will get back to being Billy Butler. If that happens, then Cain having the highest OPS+ on the team on May 26th (as this article is being written) will just be an interesting footnote. Otherwise, if Cain remains the Royals best hitter on the season, that would just be a microcosm of what has been, up to this point, a punchless offense.

Lorenzo Cain is a valuable player for the Royals. He just should not be their best hitter.

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Tags: Kansas City Royals Lorenzo Cain

  • cardsfanatik

    Your correct. I’m just wondering, if and when, anything will be done about it. The Royal’s can’t honestly believe after what we have watched up to this point in the year, that this team is going to go to October. And god forbid, Ventura is done for a while, that just means they are going to need MORE offense, because whatever pitcher, unless they give Zimmer a whirl, they bring in, likely Chen, isn’t going to give them what Ventura did. Soooo, while its not time to look to next year just yet, without some significant change of some sort, this season is most assuredly over.

    • jessanders

      … Sorry to burst your bubble, but Zimmer is out for another 6-8 weeks before they even let him START throwing a baseball again.

      • cardsfanatik

        Your right, I forgot……….so that won’t happen either. My bad.

      • Dave Hill

        Beginning to wonder if the Royals are just cursed when it comes to young pitching.

        • cardsfanatik

          I have actually been wondering for a couple years now, maybe they need an entire makeover when it comes to the guys that actually “develop” these guys. It’s almost UNHEARD of for an organization to miss as much as the Royal’s have. There is a complete breakdown somewhere. And it can’t ALL be the players

        • Ryan Caltrider

          I’m beginning to wonder if the Royals are just cursed when it comes to baseball.

          • Dave Hill

            You will enjoy my post tomorrow then.

  • cardsfanatik

    And while we’re at it, someone needs to call Dayton, and ask him, that after 8 years, just when in hell we can expect to see a winning team. Oh but wait, he will probably give some smart ass remark about patience, and the fans not “supporting” their crappy team.

    • moretrouble

      One thing that bothers me about KC is their 4-5 holes. They got guys hitting in the 240′s and 270′s with 4 HR’s between them. That’s not enough production. Valencia helps things a bit, but I’m getting to the point where I’d like to see them make Aoki into a 4th outfielder and give the job to Maxwell. And, of course … to your earlier point … deep-six Dyson.

      • cardsfanatik

        I agree completely. Maxwell’s avg. stunk with his time here, but I believe with consistent AB’s, he could hit .250, with MUCH more power than what Aoki is bringing. I like Nori, but this team needs some pop, and its to the point, I’m with you, that I don’t much care where they get it. And yes, Dyson needs to go.

    • Dave Hill

      Yeah, his five year Process is going into the eighth year without a true payoff. Or did he mean 15 years, and the one got cut off?

      • cardsfanatik

        Its time for Dayton and Ned to go. If Glasshole expects to keep selling tickets, he’d better do something to show fans he’s not the money grubbing scrub douche we all think he is.

  • Stan Colbert

    Love Cain! Always have! I would have Dyson DH, Cain 8, Esky 9, Aoki 1, Infante 2, Hos 3, Gordon 4, Salvy 5, and Tell Gordon to run like lightning to stay out of GIDP. Be nice if Grifol told Salvy to quit swinging at pitches out of strike zone. Why on Earth with the game out of hand in the 4th. did we not have our bench players in the game getting some at bats at least! I suppose injury concerns.

  • moretrouble

    If KC gave awards on May 27th for their best hitter, no doubt Cain would win. Unfortunately for him, and fortunately for the team, the season goes a bit longer than that, LOL. He’s done amazingly well and with his Gold Glove work in CF, he’s a keeper.

  • Stan Colbert

    I remember when Royals best hitter meant you were somebody!