Tuesday, January 21, 2014


                                                               Yoenis C├ęspedes

Another day and another prime fantasy baseball player to discuss as today we take a closer look at Oakland A's slugging Cuban import Yoenis Cespedes.  After Cespedes made his debut with much anticipation in 2012 with very impressive results, the hype meter went into overdrive as 2013 approached.  Visions of 30 home runs and 25 stolen bases permeated prospective owners' minds and it appeared the sky was the limit.  However like with many young hitters, the dreaded sophomore slump came calling which resulted in the following solid but somewhat disappointing line last season:

.240 26 HR 80 RBI 74 R 7 SB

Needless to say, outside of the home runs the rest of the haul by Cespedes was a letdown.  So what went wrong?  Is Cespedes still a player worth building your team around?  Let's dig in and find out.

First let's do some digging into the Fantasy Sports Boss value.  While I was as high as anyone when it came to Cespedes last season, I did make it a point to mention that his very high K rate was a potential land mine that could blow up the rest of his numbers.  As a rookie in 2012, Cespedes struck out a bunch as expected but also benefitted from some luck on the batted ball (BABIP) that allowed him to hit .292.  That .292 was very misleading as the correction that was coming promised to send the average plummeting.  That is exactly what happened last season as Cespedes struck out at nearly the same rate he had in his rookie season but who saw his BABIP go to the extreme other direction which resulted in the .240 slopfest.  In addition, the book became established on Cespedes with regards to opposing pitchers realizing they no longer had to throw a strike to him.  The ultimate hacking approach that Cespedes has it a big problem that has to fixed at least somewhat for him to realize his vast potential. 

As far as the numbers this season are concerned, the power is still too good to keep down and Cespedes will be a lock to smack between 25-30 home runs even if he continues to swing and miss as much as he currently does.  In addition the RBI tally should reside in the 80-90 range which is a very nice number.  However the average is going to be a liability which of course serves as a bit of a neutralizer to the power numbers.  In addition Cespedes was caught on half of his 14 stolen base attempts and by the end of last season seemed hesitant to run.  Thus ever expected 20 steals is a pipedream and 10 is now the new target number which is a bummer.  Throw in around 70-80 runs scored and this is what you have overall with the slugger.

When you put things all together, Yoenis Cespedes is a fine fantasy baseball outfielder 2 but no longer is the can't miss star we thought he could be.  The potential is always there for a massive breakout but the red flags are pronounced right now.  Don't overpay and instead grade out your draft price on Cespedes based on what he did last season and nothing more than that for the time being.

2014 PROJECTION:  .259 28 HR 86 RBI 77 R 9 SB

Be sure to check back for more of the starting pitching rankings as we move forward through the week.  Let us hear your thoughts.

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