Who is new Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain?
The Milwaukee Brewers made a big splash in free agency, signing outfielder Lorenzo Cain to a five-year, $80 million contract.
Just who is this now high-priced outfielder? Here’s a few notes on the newest member of the Brewers’ lineup.
— As many know, Cain’s original team was Milwaukee. The Brewers selected him in the 17th round in 2004 as a draft-and-follow — a practice no longer allowed by Major League Baseball — and he was signed in 2005 after spending one year at Tallahassee Community College.
— Cain didn’t even start playing baseball until he was in the 10th grade. After being cut from his high school basketball team as a freshman, he quit that sport and looked for another to play, finally settling on baseball (almost by default) the next year.
— He worked his way up through the Brewers’ minor-league system, eventually making his MLB debut at age 24 in July 2010, appearing in three games as a substitute before being sent back down. Cain was recalled again in early August and when Jim Edmonds was traded to Cincinnati on Aug. 9, Cain would get his chance, playing in 37 games with 34 starts after the deal.
— Was traded along with shortstop Alcides Escobar, reliever Jeremy Jeffress and starter Jake Odorizzi to Kansas City on Dec. 16, 2010 for shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and starter Zack Greinke. Greinke would win 16 games in 2011 and help lead the Brewers to 90 wins and the NL Central title.
— Cain wouldn’t become the Royals’ starting center fielder until 2013. He hit over .300 in both 2014 and ’15, as Kansas City made the World Series in both years, winning it all in 2015.
— A career .295 hitter in 31 playoff games, he was the MVP of 2014 ALCS when he batted .533.
— Played in a career-high 155 games in 2017, batting .300 and stealing 26 bases — in all three of his seasons in which he hit .300 he also stole more than 20 bases (28 in the other two instances).
— Cain is known for his defense and range in the outfield, and for good reason. He is the active leader in range factor for all outfielders and led the league in that advanced stat in 2015 and 2017.
— He also led center fielders in putouts in 2017 and was third in total zone runs at the position and fifth in assists.
— Cain shows up frequently in MLB’s Statcast leaderboards. In 2017, Cain was fifth in Outs Above Average and tied for sixth in difficult catches. In addition, his top Sprint Speed put him at 16th fastest in MLB (among 451).
— At age 32, how does he keep productive? In this video of his home life, he mentions getting a good amount of sleep being key. He and his wife do have two young sons, so that isn’t necessarily easy to do.
— One of Cain’s sons is named Cameron Loe Cain. However, this has nothing to do with former Brewers reliever Kameron Loe. Cain and his wife, Jenny, liked the name Cameron. Cain is often called LoCain … but he liked Loe instead of Loe (“Just seemed right,” he said at the time), and there you have it.
— He has an eclectic taste in music and would often sign songs in the clubhouse.
— Cain was a fan favorite in Kansas City, proven by the cheers he got at the Royals’ Fan Fest … after he signed with Milwaukee.
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