Kansas City Royals: Lorenzo Cain Most Intriguing Player

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Nov 1, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) scores a run against the New York Mets in the 9th inning in game five of the World Series at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 1, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (6) scores a run against the New York Mets in the 9th inning in game five of the World Series at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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Maybe he won’t be the next face of Dos Equis, but Lorenzo Cain is considered to be the most interesting, if not important, player on the Kansas City Royals.

On a team without a true superstar in the mold of the biggest names currently in baseball, it may be difficult to think of a single player on the Kansas City Royals as indispensable. After all, one of the strengths of the Royals lineup over the past few years has been how virtually every place in the batting order has been able to contribute to Kansas City’s offensive strategy of putting pressure on opposing defenses.

Yet, of the players currently on the Royals, there may be that one player who is truly irreplaceable at this point. Alex Gordon would seemingly be the obvious answer, but the Royals went 31-17, a .646 winning percentage, without Gordon in the lineup. Instead, that player may well be Lorenzo Cain.

Cain is certainly the complete package. Despite his continued Gold Glove snubs, Cain is one of the best defensive outfielders in the game. On the heels of his breakout 2014 campaign, Cain fulfilled his five tool potential. The power came through to the tune of 16 home runs and 34 doubles, while he stole 28 bases and provided a .307/.361/.477 batting line. Those numbers, as well as his overall value to the Royals championship, garnered plenty of attention, as he finished third in the 2015 AL MVP vote.

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With his sudden progression and having been thrust into the national spotlight, it is certainly understandable that ESPN would consider Lorenzo Cain to be the most intriguing player on the Kansas City Royals. Can Cain replicate his success from last season, proving that he is potentially a perennial All-Star and MVP candidate? Or is there another level that Cain can ascend to, where he can become a true superstar in Kansas City? Or, in the worst case scenario, have we seen the best of Cain, and he will begin to regress towards whatever the mean would be?

The Royals have to hope that Cain either continues to perform at the level that he did last season or that he will improve even further. With an offense that is entirely based on contact, Cain’s ability to continue that power surge from last season could make a dramatic impact on Kansas City’s fortunes next season.

On a team where the New England Patriots mantra of “Next Man Up” would apply, there are still players that are irreplaceable. The Royals have been able to find ways to getting by after losing Gordon and Greg Holland last season, as well as the mess that their starting pitching had been. Even though those moves at the trading deadline helped contribute to that ability to withstand injuries and ineffectiveness, the Royals did not lose anyone that could not be replaced.

Next: Royals window of opportunity still not defined

For all the moves over the past few seasons, the Kansas City Royals are still a blend of contact, speed and defense. No player on the roster provides that as well as Lorenzo Cain currently does, making him the most intriguing player on the team.

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