Petriello: MVP candidate Lorenzo Cain stars in new directional outfield metric

From Mike Petriello at on September 18, 2018:

Lorenzo Cain is a star in the outfield, and it’s hard to imagine that would be any kind of a controversial statement. By Outs Above Average, the Statcast™ range-based metric, he’s at +16, which puts him in the top 5 this year, just like he was in 2017.

While Cain is having a good year at the plate in his first year with the Brewers, hitting .311/.401/.427 with 10 homers and 28 steals, it’s his defense that’s putting him in the National League Most Valuable Player Award conversation. While he’s never won a Gold Glove Award, that doesn’t really matter. He’s a stud.

Cain is also one of the best outfielders at going back to make the catch behind him, and he knows it. We know that too, because we asked him.

“I think it would show [I am] better going back than coming in,” Cain said recently. “I’ve always felt comfortable going back. It’s a skill you work on, but some of it has to be God-given, you know what I mean? There’s some natural ability. But I definitely put in a lot of work going back on balls. For me, those are tough ones, catching balls over your head. I’ve never been afraid of the wall.”

“I would definitely be interested in checking out the numbers,” he continued.

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Originally published: September 18, 2018. Last Updated: September 18, 2018.