Wednesday, August 26, 2015


For a guy who has been traded three times in the last year, Yoenis Cespedes certainly carries some very valuable thump.  So it goes for the mercurial and sometimes bombastic Cuban outfielder who has made himself right at home in his new locale with the New York Mets, culminating of course with his ridiculous 3 home run game last week against the Colorado Rockies.  Whether it was in Oakland, Boston, Detroit, or now New York, Cespedes has shown above-average power and athletic ability that screams out "five tool player."  In addition, 2015 may just be the very best season we have seen out of Cespedes, at least since his eye-opening debut with the A's back in 2012. So with all that said, let's check in again on Cespedes the player as he and the Mets head to what is shaping up to be a big stretch run.

Before we proceed, let's revisit the impressive numbers Cespedes has already put up going into Wednesday's games:

25 HR
81 RBI
78 R
7 SB

Those numbers are the composite statistics from both his Tigers and Mets tenures this season and needless to say, they make the case once again as Cespedes being a low-end outfielder 1.  It is that designation I had Cespedes under heading into the season, down slightly from the high-outfielder 1 I would have placed him in if he had not bee dealt from the Boston Red Sox and offensively friendly Fenway Park.  Rumors of Cespedes being difficult to manage and a locker room diva short-circuited his stay there though and so he ended up in another major pitcher's park with the Tigers in Comerica.  Despite this, Cespedes began the season on fire and never really let up in terms of hitting home runs consistently leading up to his present status with the Mets.  In fact, Cespedes is just one home run shy of his previous high of 26 that came in his second major league season with the A's in 2013.  In addition, Cespedes has once again filled up both the runs and RBI columns due to his customary hitting in the 3-4-5 spots which has made him a very productive bat in three fantasy baseball ROTO standard categories. 

As far as the other two standard categories are concerned, Cespedes' 7 stolen bases is nothing to write home about, especially when you consider he has been caught 4 times.  For some reason Cespedes lost his ability to steal bases right after his rookie campaign in 2013 when he swiped 16 which heightened expectations of him becoming a monster five tool guy.  Since that time, Cespedes has gone for 7 steals in both 2013 and 2014 and of course that is where he is at right now in 2015.  That means the high single digits are where he is as a player now at the age of nearly 30. 

Now for the average.  The .295 mark Cespedes is at right now would be his best mark since again his rookie .292 average.  When Cespedes first arrived from Cuba, there was rampant talk about his free swinging ways that resulted in a boatload of strikeouts.  That in turn would hurt his batting average going forward was the reasoning.  Well that is exactly what took placed after his rookie season as Cespedes hit a horrendous .240 in 2013 and .262 in 2014.  Strikeouts were a big problem in both of those campaigns as Cespedes whiffed 137 and 128 times respectively.  2015 would appear to be some sort of a breakthrough though for Cespedes on the surface as his .295 mark this late in the season would attest.  However a quick peek at the advanced numbers doesn't bear this out.  For one, Cespedes' current 20.5 percent K Rate is HIGHER than the 19.8 mark from 2014.  So why the higher average?  Simply really.  Cespedes BABIP is currently at a very lucky .332.  Consider that .300 is neutral, Cespede is more of a .275 guy than .295 based on that BABIP. 

When you put it all together, there is no denying the fact Yoenis Cespedes has reinforced the idea of him being a prime outfielder 1 in fantasy baseball.  It will be interesting to see what happens with him at the end of the season in terms of possibly staying with the Mets (not likely) or going somewhere else.  We suggest Colorado seeing as how they are rebuilding and clearly Cespedes likes hitting there.  That my friends would be a transaction we would all salivate over. 


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