Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Lorenzo Cain – dark horse MVP candidate.
Just as Mike Moustakas is having a breakout season this year, the same could have been said for Lorenzo Cain last year. He posted an excellent .301/.339/.412 batting line, stealing 28 bases while playing stellar defense in right and center. Cain continued that breakthrough throughout the postseason, winning the American League Championship Series MVP award as he helped lead the Royals to within a game of the title.
As such, it was expected that Cain would inevitably regress this season. Instead, the has taken that next step in his development, blossoming into a true star. He has produced a stellar .313/.369/.490 batting line, hitting a career best 13 home runs while stealing 26 bases thus far. His 6.6 WAR is third among position players in the American League, trailing only Josh Donaldson and Mike Trout.
While it is exceedingly unlikely that Cain wrests the award away from Donaldson, especially with the run that the Blue Jays have been on as of late, that does not mean that he will not have a strong showing. In fact, Cain could be the first Royals player to make the top ten in the MVP ballot since Carlos Beltran in 2003. With a bit of luck, and given the Royals strong showing this season, he could even be the first player to crack the top five for Kansas City since George Brett all the way back in 1985.
Lorenzo Cain is emerging not just as a potential extension candidate for the Kansas City Royals, but as a possible star. For a player that many thought would regress this season, Cain has been quite the pleasant surprise.
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