Jul 5, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals base runner Lorenzo Cain (6) celebrates with teammates after scoring the winning run against the Minnesota Twins during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Lorenzo Cain is one of the breakout stars in all of baseball. He won the MVP trophy for the KC Royals ALCS victory over the Baltimore Orioles after he hit .533 and tortured the Orioles with play after play in center field.
After putting on a show with acrobatic catches in the 2014 playoffs, many pundits speculated that Lorenzo Cain was due for the dreaded “regression”.
Instead, Cain has shown that his star turn in the 2014 playoffs was no fluke.
Lorenzo Cain has moved into the number three spot in the Kansas City Royals batting order, while hitting .305/.364/.462 with 17 doubles, 4 triples, 6 home runs, 16 stolen bases, and 36 RBIs. His .462 slugging percentage is a career-high for the 29-year-old Cain, who has developed some pop at the plate.
Still, his most jaw dropping plays continue to come on defense. Just take a gander at the video below:
Cain’s defense is simply ridiculous.
Lorenzo Cain ranks 5th among major-league outfielders with a 8.5 Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), just behind teammate Alex Gordon at 4th with 8.9. Cain ranks second in UZR among AL centerfielders behind Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier.
While Lorenzo Cain did not win a Gold Glove in 2014, and has not won one in his career, he figures to be the favorite to take home the defensive hardware in centerfield in 2015.
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Gold Glove voters did not consider Cain for the award in 2014 because KC manager Ned Yost frequently shifted him to right field in the late innings to accommodate defensive specialist Jarrod Dyson. As a result, Cain did not accumulate enough innings at any one outfield position to qualify for a Gold Glove. Yost has stopped this substitution practice in 2015, in part because it cost Lorenzo Cain a 2014 Gold Glove.
Not only does Lorenzo Cain win games with his bat and glove, he helped the KC Royals to two walkoff wins on July 4 weekend by scoring the winning run on plays at the plate in a pair of 3-2 victories.
Due to his all-around game, Lorenzo Cain ranks 6th among American League position players with 3.6 Wins Above Replacement (fWAR). He is now recognized as a true star in the league.
Though 29-years-old, Lorenzo Cain is just now coming into his prime, probably due to him not playing the game until he was 15 years old. He is in his fourth season with the Kansas City Royals, and his fifth in major league baseball (he played part of one season for the Brewers before arriving in the Greinke trade).
Cain is in his first arbitration year, with the team holding two more. Lorenzo Cain can become a free agent after the 2018 season.
There you have it, KC Royals fans: your four 2015 All-Stars. Congratulate them. Enjoy them. Celebrate them.
You’re living in a new golden era of Kansas City baseball.