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John Dewan's Stat of the Week - Lorenzo Cain

Who is March & April's Defensive Player of the Month

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By MARK SIMON

Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain’s game-ending home run-robbing catch against Jose Martinez on Opening Day didn’t just win a game against the Cardinals. It set the tone for his month and left a lasting impression in the minds of those who saw it.

Cain won the Baseball Info Solutions Defensive Player of the Month for March and April. The award is voted on by BIS employees and media. He saved an MLB-best nine runs with his defense this month. The Opening Day catch was one of three home run robberies he had in the month-plus. He also had one against Martinez’s teammate, Matt Carpenter, on April 15, and one against Todd Frazier of the Mets on April 26.

Most Defensive Runs Saved
March & April
Player Team DRS
Lorenzo Cain Brewers 9
Mike Trout Angels 8
Cody Bellinger Dodgers 8
Nick Ahmed Diamondbacks 7
Wil Myers Padres 7

Among Cain’s best non-homer-robbing plays in this span were one in which he crashed into the left center field fence to take an extra-base hit from Justin Turner and diving catches to take hits away from Marcell Ozuna and Albert Pujols. He totaled seven Good Fielding Plays as tracked by BIS Video Scouts (Good Fielding Plays are Web Gem-like plays and things like cutting a ball off to hold a batter to a single).

In a radio interview last Sunday, Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Cain should be given a Gold Glove right now, a line he’s repeatedly used with the media. Cain may not have won Gold, but he has won two Fielding Bible Awards. He won the inaugural award for multi-position excellence in 2014 and took home the top honor for center fielders last season.

Since joining the Brewers last season, Cain has saved 29 runs. That ranks second overall to Matt Chapman’s 31, and first among center fielders. Kevin Kiermaier ranks second at the position with 17.

Cain’s catches might be the best thing about his defensive performance so far this season, but also noteworthy is how he’s avoided mistakes. He has no errors and no Defensive Misplays yet this season. He totaled 20 Defensive Misplays & Errors for the Brewers last season.

Cain wasn’t the only one to have a great defensive March and April. The runner-up for the award, Dodgers outfielder and first baseman Cody Bellinger, saved eight runs, with his highlight being a home run-robbing catch against Cain’s teammate, Christian Yelich.

Bellinger will almost certainly be the NL’s Player of the Month for his overall work but he falls just short of Cain, who has been the best in baseball with the glove so far.

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