Advance Scouting Report

Filed by: Keith Rader

Player Name: Lorenzo Cain

Context: 15 games 6/30/2017-7/18/2017




1st P






















Sample vs. Season:

Struggled offensively quite a bit during 15-game viewing. Strikeout and walk rates are very similar to full-season numbers. Aside from K/BB, Cain was much worse in virtually every statistical category in this window when compared to the full year, but there was some hard luck mixed in with only a .209 BABIP. His hard and medium hit percentages were slightly down, but not enough to result in a drop from his season BABIP of .338.



Listed at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, but appears taller; athletic build; has the exact body type you look for in a center fielder; broad shoulders; long limbed with thin wrists; has a history of lower leg issues (most notably groin strains), but has been able to remain mostly healthy with regular rest over the last three seasons, however, minor wrist and hamstring injuries limited him to 103 games in 2016; does not currently appear to be dealing with injury.

Hit Tool

Quite a bit of hand movement in stance with hands level with helmet; lower half is slightly open with shoulders closed off for a small twist pre-pitch; load is much more quiet than the stance, and hands load at letters; above-average bat speed with hands quick to the ball; mild leverage in the swing mostly due to a drastic lean back on a collapsing back leg; below-average balance; front leg lands stiff and straight after leg lift; patient hitter with great pitch recognition and ability to make adjustments during an at-bat; swing is less balanced on off-speed pitches with the lean back becoming more pronounced; above average barrell control; uses entire field, 60 hitter

vs. LHP

vs. RHP

Historically a hitter unaffected by pitcher handedness, Cain has struggled mightily against LHP in 2017, and these 15 games provided no change. Cain is being worn out down/away and showing very poor discipline vs. LHP. Games against Kershaw/Hamels have not been kind.

Much more patient against RHP, but did see Ariel Miranda well – a game in which he notched a BB and HR. A better hitter in deep counts, Cain is able to extend at-bats and has better pitch recognition against RHP. Looks more comfortable in box than against LHP.

Notable At-bats




Fifth inning vs. Ervin Santana (RHP) – After two consecutive sinkers and in a 1-1 count, Cain swung and missed at a slider that broke just outside from the lower third of the strike zone. Santana then threw a great setup pitch just below the strike zone and on the outer third which was taken for a ball. Cain then took a good slider in the exact location as the one he swung at earlier in the AB. With the count full, Cain took a fastball outside for a walk.

7/1 (Game 1)

Fourth inning vs. Jose Berrios (RHP) – Berrios misses with his first three pitches of the AB (all fastballs) and Cain gets a green light as the go-ahead run, he gets another fastball in the lower/outside part of the zone and fouls the pitch off. He then gets a fastball in the lower part of the zone over the middle of the plate and fouls it off as well and is audibly frustrated with himself. Berrios makes a quality pitch which just misses the strike zone (outside) and Cain takes the walk.


4th inning vs. Clayton Kershaw (LHP) – Cain fouled off a good first pitch fastball from Kershaw in the upper/outer portion of the strike zone, then took a very similar pitch that barely missed outside to bring the count 1-1. Cain hit an almost perfectly placed curve that broke underneath the strike zone, but on the inner third of the plate. Solid contact on a great pitch.


7th inning vs. Matt Bush (RHP) – Cain missed several fastballs ranging from 97-99 middle-in and middle-up. Quickly got into 0-2 count, but managed to foul off four fastballs. Took a quality slider on 1-2 that broke just outside the strike zone, but eventually fell to a fastball down and out on an off-balanced swing in which he was simply trying to foul off the pitch.


More doubles power than home run pop; power is almost exclusively to the pull side; the leverage built into his swing is more a knock on his balance than a good swing path; will put big swings with good extension on breaking balls and typically squares them up, but has less than ideal extension on fastballs which results in more barrell control, but weaker contact against velocity; 40 power

vs. LHP

vs. RHP

Sees a high percentage of breaking pitching from LHP who tend to be working him down and away, which is the area Cain seems to be struggling with. Hits better deeper in counts, and is more aggressive vs. LHP leading to more pitchers counts, and a more contact heavy approach.

Power is to the pull side of the field, and on the inner two-thirds of the plate and up. More confident with big swings later in counts. When patient and getting his pitch, Cain has the ability to drive the ball.

Notable At-bats




7th inning vs. Alan Busenitz (RHP) – Took a huge swing on a first pitch fastball in the lower, outer part of the zone but came up empty. After missing outside with another fastball, Busenitz threw a curveball middle middle; Cain put his best swing on the pitch which resulted in the hardest hit ball over the three game look – a 106.5mph line drive that landed in shallow center.


5th inning vs. Ariel Miranda (LHP) – Took fastball over heart of the plate for a strike. After a ball missed well below the zone, he swung at a backdoor slider that never made it over the plate. A fouling off a good 1-2 fastball, Cain took two consecutive pitches in the dirt before crushing a 3-2 fastball middle-in to leftfield and tying the game.

Speed/ Baserunning

70, borderline 80 speed – near elite impact speed on both sides of the ball; one of the fastest players and best base stealers in the game; excellent acceleration and well-above-average baserunner; smart and capable on the basepaths; absolutely glides in the outfield with smooth strides

Conclusions and Means of Attack

Cain is an above-average hitter, but certainly has weaknesses. His balance issues can be exploited, and he struggles to make contact with pitches on the outer half, especially down. He is a hitter that makes a lot of contact, but when he does swing and miss, it is typically down and away. Avoid the middle and upper parts of the strike zone and change speeds down/away. Not a huge power threat, so missing with a fastball on the hands is not a terrifying ordeal. Mixing in some velocity inside will back him off the plate and increase the advantage the pitcher has on the outer half and down.

Recommendation to Acquire?


With an above-average hit tool and the ability to work a walk, he would fit in nicely at the top of virtually any lineup. He may not have the power needed to play a corner spot for every team in the league, but if the current CF can slide to LF or RF, Cain will certainly improve the roster noticeably.

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I don't know if I can trust a scouting report that says that Kershaw is a RHP :-}

What practical difference is there between sliding your current CF to a corner (assuming he's a capable CF) to make room for Cain and putting Cain in the corner?
Fixed, that's on me.

Depends how good a hitter/fielder the current CF is, right? Joc Pederson's offensive profile could probably work in a corner and he's not as good a defender as Cain is, so there's additional benefit there, as an example.