Ah, sweet ‘Zo Cain. The heart and soul of the Kansas City Royals. You know, we haven’t written about Lorenzo Cain nearly enough on this blog. Dude will be about 31 years old the next time baseball is played, and he just gets too little run time here. ‘Zo Cain been berry berry good to us though.
He had a little bit of a down year in 2016, followed by his best record hits in 2014 and 2015.
He finished with 103 games played, a respectable .287 average (‘Zo Cain is always respectable), nine homers, 56 RBI and runs scored, and 14 steals. He finished a 2.4 fWAR, down from his 6.4 fWAR in 2015 when he was creeping into that ‘best in the game’ talk ever so slightly.
We want to know what kind of rebound candidate Cain will be moving forward – to us he should be like a Torii Hunter – aging like a fine wine in many ways. We have but one projection system to look at, so lets do it. From his Fangraphs page.
Lorenzo Cain’s 2017 STEAMER Projections:
144 games played (good to see), 13 home runs, 71 RBI, 71 runs scored, 19 steals .283/.338/.416, 3.0 fWAR
Alright, so Steamer isn’t seeing anything here earth shattering. Just tells us that there is a very good chance in Cain’s returned health from a frustrating wrist injury – not an injury that should be taken lightly for a hitter the year following – to still being a pretty solid ballplayer.
This may be a little light for one factor involved: Cain is entering a free-agent year. He’s young enough that if he could come somewhat close to his greatest hits era; he could land one more very fine contract from a suitor most likely to not be the Royals.
The search is on for a player that Steamer sees bottoming out.