Lorenzo Cain

CINCINNATI – Lorenzo Cain was assigned on Saturday, but conventional thinking says he wasn’t supposed to get this far.

The Milwaukee Brewers centerfielder didn’t start playing baseball until he was a senior in high school, in a sport where kids are frequently pressured to play on select travel teams at a young age. Only Tallahassee Community College showed any interest in him. In 2004, the Brewers selected him in the 17th round of the draught.

“It’s the only instance like that that I’m aware of,” said David Stearns, president of baseball operations for the Milwaukee Brewers. “It’s hard for me to picture that happening again.”

Cain entered the visitors’ clubhouse at Great American Ball Park on Saturday afternoon, marking his 10th year in Major League Baseball. It’s a rare achievement for someone to even make it to the big leagues. For a late starter like Cain, who has struggled with ailments throughout his career, especially in the early stages?

This wasn’t supposed to happen in the first place.

“I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me I’d be on the program for ten years,” Cain stated. “It just took a lot of hard work from the time I first started in high school, in 10th grade, picking up a bat for the first time and participating in organized sports for the first time.” It all began there.

“I’ve put in a lot of effort, and I’d say it’s all paid off in the end, being able to earn ten years on the program, have a long career, win a World Series, and all that nice stuff.” “It’s been a lot of fun.” Cain’s career exemplifies one of baseball’s greatest virtues: there is no one-size-fits-all road to becoming a big-leaguer. Cain, 36, and possibly his final season in the league, took a detour.

Cain was dressed in a collared shirt, jean shorts, and basketball shoes for his first high school practice. He didn’t have any baseball equipment. No player wants to hear about the DFA, but given those beginnings, 10 years in the majors is even more impressive.

“I didn’t have any cleats, gloves, or anything from the start,” Cain added. “I’ve had a lot of fantastic people in my life who have pushed me and helped me out a lot, from high school to now. I’ve been extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to play for as long as I have. It’s impossible to be outraged about anything if it’s the end.”

Cain was only ranked as the Brewers’ No. 8 prospect by Baseball America the year he debuted, despite being picked and showing hints of his eventual Gold Glove abilities in center field while surprising many with his ability to hit in the minors.

Cain was traded to Kansas City in 2011 as part of a transaction that sent Zack Greinke to Milwaukee, and he quickly established himself as a key component of Royals teams that won consecutive American League pennants and the World Series in 2015. In 2014, he was voted ALCS MVP after hitting.271 in 12 Fall Classic games.

When he became a free agent in 2017, the Brewers came knocking, giving him a five-year, $80 million contract. Cain instantly delivered on his contract, receiving an all-star selection in 2018 as the Brewers came within one game of winning the World Series. Cain ranked seventh in MVP voting, his second time in the top ten in his career; he was third in the AL MVP contest in 2015.

Cain never imagined himself competing for MVP or a Gold Glove award, as he did in 2019 because that’s not how he’s wired. “I’ve never been a guy who says goals,” Cain admitted. “I believe that if you create goals for yourself, you are putting a restriction on yourself.” Or you’re down on yourself if you don’t achieve your aim. “All I cared about was remaining healthy and letting everything else take care of itself.”

Cain’s ability to adjust to what the league was attempting to do to him during his career, according to Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who hit the 10-year service time barrier as a player, is what sticks out the most about his longevity.

“I think you’re continuously adjusting,” Counsell remarked. “It’s a huge deal.” As a big-leaguer, you have to make adjustments all the time, and if you’ve been around for ten years, you’ve had to make a lot of them because the league is always trying to find out a way to get you out, or health is trying to knock you out.

“So you’re out here as a player, trying to figure out how to deal with all of it.” And if you’ve made it this far, you’ve done very well.”

Cain’s 2022 season hasn’t gone as planned for him or the Brewers. On Saturday, he had a batting average of. Cain, a superb teammate, and key clubhouse presence has been reduced to a spot off the bench most days with a.465 OPS.

Read More: Yermin Mercedes Signed a 1-Year Contract with The Chicago White Sox!

Before Friday’s game in Cincinnati, Cain stated again that 2022 could be his final season as a player. He claims he’s still undecided, but having three sons at home, he feels compelled to go in that route.

“I’m still taking a wait-and-see approach,” Cain said, “but there’s a high chance this will be my final year.” “There are days when I think to myself, ‘Aw, this is going to be my final year.’ Then there are days when I think to myself, ‘OK, I’ll come back for another.'”

Cain has attained one of baseball’s most coveted longevity milestones among players and coaches, regardless of whether he lays up his spikes this off-season.

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