KC Royals: Lorenzo Cain Is Now An MVP Candidate


KC Royals centerfielder Lorenzo Cain is on a tear. In his last eight games, Cain has 15 hits, four doubles, four home runs, nine RBI’s, nine runs scored, and two stolen bases. According to Fox Sports Kansas City, there are only four players in American League history to enjoy such a stretch: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Derek Jeter, and now Lorenzo Cain.

That’s insane.

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The streak has put LoCain in the Most Valuable Player Award conversation for 2015.

Thought to have a questionable bat as recently as this winter, Lorenzo Cain now sports a robust .321/.378/.513 triple slash with 21 doubles, four triples, 10 home runs, and 45 RBI’s. He’s also stolen 18 bases (against three caught stealing); and we all know about his defense.

Not only has Lorenzo Cain established that his post-season heroics in 2014 were no fluke, he’s now one of the best position players in the game. His 4.5 fWAR (Fangraphs.com Wins Above Replacement) ranks fifth in all of major-league baseball and fourth in the AL.

Cain’s isolated power (Slugging-batting average) is a quite respectable .192 and he’s settled in as a legitimate number three hitter in the Kansas City Royals batting order.  Lorenzo Cain also remains an outstanding defender with the eighth best Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) among MLB outfielders at 7.6.

SEE ALSO: Top Trade Targets To Fill In For Alex Gordon

That, KC Royals fans, is a superstar.

Now, unless Los Angeles Angels centerfielder Mike Trout gets hit by a bus, Lorenzo Cain isn’t going to win. Trout looks to be on his way to a 50 home run season. Trout also has accumulated 5.5 WAR this season with a terrific all-around game that includes success in all five phases of the game: hitting, power, throwing, fielding, and base-running.

Let’s be honest, Trout is better than Lorenzo Cain overall—but simply isn’t as spectacular on defense and  as dangerous on the basepaths. In short, Cain is more exciting to watch.

The interesting thing here is how Lorenzo Cain’s eight game stretch of baseball divinity exactly corresponds with Alex Gordon‘s groin tear on July 8. When Gordon, who is widely recognized as the KC Royals clubhouse leader and biggest star, went down, Lorenzo Cain stepped up.

Not only is Lorenzo Cain a superstar, he’s upped his play exactly when the Kansas City Royals needed a lift. Cain’s recent performance is one reason why the KC Royals have won seven of their eight games since news came that the team would lose Gordon for two months.

Sabermetrics guys would tell us that it’s all a coincidence. That Cain’s streak, and Gordon’s injury, are unrelated. But, for Kansas City Royals fans, the two incidents FEEL like cause and effect.

It’s as if Lorenzo Cain knows his team needs him, and that knowledge triggered him to rip off his uniform and transform into the SuperCain that led the KC Royals through the 2014 playoffs.

If sportswriters still consider things like leadership—and value to the team—in this sabermetric age, then Lorenzo Cain should have a chance to steal the hardware from Trout.

Next: KC Royals Danny Duffy's Recent Success May Be Mirage

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