Yoenis Cespedes: The Cuban King of Oakland
Saturday July 28th, 2012
(Image Courtesy of Businessinsider.com)
Brendan Henderson: If you’re a baseball fan, you have heard the name Yoenis Cespedes. Recently, you have been hearing A LOT about his team, the Oakland Athletics. Just how much has Yoenis Cespedes helped the A’s this year and especially as of late? That is what I’m going to analyze below.
Yoenis Cespedes signed a four-year deal worth $36 million with the A’s this offseason after he defected from Cuba. There was a lot of hype around Cespedes after a video of him running, fielding, hitting and leg pressing a ridiculous amount of weight was released and shown almost every other 10 minutes on MLB Network. Some people just didn’t know if he would ever live up to the hype. I can assure you he has so far… and then some.
The A’s are currently in 3rd place in the AL West with a 55-45 record, they are only 3.5 games back from the division leader, the Texas Rangers. They are in fact tied with the Angels as the current leaders of the two A.L. Wild Card spots. Wild west anyone? As the weather heats up so does the Oakland Athletics. The A’s have been on a tear as of late, with a 18-3 record in July. A huge reason why the A’s are doing so well is the man who is featured in this article, Yoenis Cespedes.
Just how much does Cespedes bring to the A’s? The A’s are 12-20 (.375) without him and 44-25 (.657) with him. If the season ended today, the A’s would make the play offs as a Wild Card team. Without Cespedes, they would be nowhere near the top of the Wild Card standings. Cespedes has played in 68 games this season and is batting .302 with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs. Check our the numbers from today alone: 2-4, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs. As the A’s #4 hitter- this guy truly cleans up. The scary thing for other teams is that this he is still adjusting to MLB pitching. It is only his first year in Major League Baseball and he is already a star. Cespedes will just get better and better as his career progresses.
The true sign of the value of Cespedes (other than the team’s incredible record with him in the lineup), is how he makes everyone else around him better. Ask Chris Carter. Brandon Moss. Coco Crisp. Josh Reddick. Without Cespedes, the aforementioned hitters are reduced to average players on a losing squad. Insert Cespedes and they become stars. Not that these guys didn’t have talent before Cespedes arrived, but he has the ability to raise everyone’s game. With Cespedes hitting cleanup, all of the other hitters in the lineup see better pitches to hit. One man can rarely carry a team on his own. In Oakland’s case, he is certainly raising them several notches higher.
To me, I think the A’s have struck gold with the young man from Cuba known as Yoenis Cespedes. He had a lot of hype around him when he was originally signed. But unlike so many failed flashes in the pan, I think he will live up to it all. He is only 26 years old and he is showing signs that he will be a great player in baseball. It is only his first year in the MLB and things are looking great already. So expect even better things to come from him in the future. I can see him being an All-Star almost every year and I can even maybe seeing him winning a MVP in the future. He is the Cuban King of Oakland. Plus, if he is able to get the A’s into the playoffs, stadium talk should shift into overdrive. If the A’s ever get their new facility built, it will likely become known as “The House That Cespedes Built.”
***Today’s feature was prepared by Brendan Henderson, Baseball Writer. We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers. You can also follow Brendan on Twitter (@HenduBlog)***
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Posted on July 28, 2012, in MLB Player Profiles and tagged baseball, billy beane, chris carter, cuba, josh reddick, King, oakland, oakland a's, oakland athletics, outfielder, rookie, world series, yoenis cespedes. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.