Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
There was plenty of competition for this award, but in the end, there was really one player who seemed to fit best. The one player who, after his coming out party in the postseason last year, took the next step towards stardom. A player whose offensive and defensive prowess this season should put him in the discussion for the MVP award and his first Gold Glove. The Royals player of the Year is none other than Lorenzo Cain.
Cain has already received one accolade this season, as he made his first All-Star Game. He continued his torrid performance throughout the season, posting career highs with a .307/.361/.477 batting line, 16 home runs, 34 doubles and 72 RBI. Cain also tied his mark from last season with 28 stolen bases, as he continued to provide that speed element even with his increased power.
Defensively, Cain continued to be the player that Royals fans have come to expect. He seemingly made a highlight reel catch every week, covering enough ground where virtually anything hit near center field in Kauffman Stadium was an out. Cain had the highest range factor of any center fielder at 2.90 per game, and was fourth with 2.3 defensive wins above replacement. A human highlight reel, Cain was simply superb at every facet of the game this season.
Even as the Kansas City Royals absorbed losses throughout their lineup, Lorenzo Cain was a constant, steady presence. With his blend of defense and offense, there was no other choice for the Royals Player of the Year.
Next: The Royals Pitcher of the Year