When the Milwaukee Brewers signed a five-year contract with Lorenzo Cain prior to the start of the 2018 season, part of the rationale resided in the seat office's belief that he was a player who still rode offensively despite the start of the season. his 32-year season. David Stearns and the company looked good as the first year of the contract unfolded, with Cain acting as a catalyst for the out-of-the-top lineup, en route to the release of the best season of his career . Lorenzo's new patience at the plate – leading to a career-high .395 – is one of the major reasons why the Brewers were able to win their first division title in seven years and achieve their best game in the playoffs playoffs for a generation.
But now that we're pretty much in the middle of the MLB 2019 regular season, it seems reasonable to say that LoCain has left this capacity on base in 2018. In 299 appearances at the plate and 65 games up to present this season, Cain has only produced an anemic. Slash line 250 / .308 / .364, "good" for a 76 wRC +. This represents a drop of nearly 50 points in overall production compared to last season (124 wRC +) and Cain is preparing his worst season since the start of the season since he became a full-time player in 2012 159 MLB hitters have already accumulated enough aspects on the plate. to qualify and at the present time, 143 of them have better seasons at the plate than Lorenzo according to wRC +.
Cain was more selective at the plate last season than he had ever been in his career. Not only did he make only 23.6% of the turns outside the hitting zone (o-swing), but he also lost four points of his swing rate in the zone (z-swing), down 64.0%. Cain focused only on throws in the strike zone for which he thought he could inflict damage. As a result, he recorded a record 38.3% career, which allowed him to improve his batting average up to 0.357.
Cain's swing rates have moved in the wrong direction this season, although at first glance it is not enough to get out of the page. Its o-swing rate rose to 25.8% and its z-swing to 64.9%. Overall, he batted about 2% more than last year. What has changed, however, is the selectivity of Cain in the attack zone.
Lorenzo expanded his strike zone in 2019, swaying more often on hard-to-drive terrain in the upper and outer edge of the strike zone. It is slightly lower this year (from 6.9% to 8.2%) and has seen a slight increase in its frequency of exit (15.2% to 16.4%), but it still ranks much better than the league average in these two categories. categories. The more striking result of Cain's increased strike zone is a clear decrease in the quality of the contact on the balls that it brings into play; its hard hit rate hit 31.4% and its BABIP went down to .288. Cain's goal rate also fell from his best career score of 11.5% to 7.0%, a level below his average of the last 10 seasons, which further increases his OBP .
According to Pitch Info's linear weights, the turntables gave Cain the most difficult time of the season. He is a .329 drummer in the field, but he only scored .262 on two sailors in 2019. Cain puts the ball on the ground almost 74% of the time, he puts a lead in play and his BABIP with the height is only .271, well below its career total of .359. Only the pair of builders, Jesus Aguilar and Mike Moustakas, have recorded this year more doubles games among Milwaukee players than LoCain, which has 7 GDP next to its name. This year, only six qualified hunters were worse than Cain, who currently has a value of -4.1 WSI (the weighted weight is above average).
One could expect a positive regression of Cain based on his career .341 BABIP, but even this is not acquired at the moment. Lorenzo's hard-hit rate has not only dropped sharply compared to last year, but a statistic also suggests he's also lost a leg in his 33-year season. In 2017, in his last season with the Royals, Cain's sprinting speed was 28.8 feet per second. In his first year with Milwaukee last year, he was 28.6 feet / sec. Now he has gone down to 28.0 ft / sec and is inconveniencing it as he tries to eliminate shots in the field at the same rate as last season (11.1% success in the field in 2018, 6.8% flying bird in 2019). Cain, who was no longer as active as he was before, went from one of the main positives on base roads (+6.4 base revolutions, 30 bases stolen in 2018) to a lower presence. average when it is on the base (-0.1 BsR, 7 SB).
Cain continues to be considered one of the best defenders of baseball today. He currently ranks third among all players with a recorded +13 defensive score and the fourth with an ultimate zone index of +6.4. His contributions to the glove reduced his overall value to about an average league average, based on his WAR totals (0.8 fWAR, 1.5 bWAR).
But an average beginner is surely not what Slingin's Stearns was hoping for when he gave Lorenzo Cain a $ 80 million guarantee to play in the middle of the field for the Cream City Nine during his 32-36 seasons and the spectacular fall of Cain's offensive production The brain of the body must pull at least a little on their necklaces. Players of the caliber and the experience of LoCain still have plenty of time to understand, but in the short term, dropping it from its usual starting point to a lower level in the order of the batters could be beneficial for both the player and the player. the offense as a whole.
Statistics provided by Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball and Statcast