Monday, February 13, 2012

What manner of man once produced a 1.48 OPS and hit 33 homers in 392 at-bats?

Look at this dude run, his feet are actually blurry, he is basically the Flash

When Mets news gets especially slow (or especially depressing) I like to take a look at my AL team the Oakland A's. Today is a particularly great day for A's baseball as they signed arguably the last interesting free agent (sorry Roy Oswalt) of the off-season, Yoenis Cespedes, he of insane video resume fame . At first this seems like kind of a weird move. The A's were clearly sellers this year shipping off their two best pitchers and closer, essentially giving up on 2012 baseball. Today they improbably became buyers dropping 36 million dollars over 4 years on a Cuban outfielder.

Cespedes is entering his age 26 season, so the timing might make sense here. His Cuban numbers are stratospheric and he is about two years away from a players typical prime age. Signing him to an Oakland club now that won't be in contention will give him time to further develop and adapt to American baseball without having unreasonable expectations. Let's take a look at some of his numbers, I don't really know how Cuban stats correlate to American ones but it's safe to say his stats show raw skills and basic baseball ability.


2010  342    22    42    45   67     5     .345 .426 .617
2011  354    33    49    40   99     11   .333 .424 .667
Clearly these numbers show a talented player. Four of out his eight seasons (including his last 3) he has recorded an OPS of over 1.0 and hit for a great average. He is also hitting a lot of homeruns in not many at bats. 33 homers would be an excellent MLB season and he did it in about half as many at-bats as most guy big league guys (for instance Ryan Howard and Ryan Braun both hit exactly 33 HR last year but did so in 644 and 629 at-bats respectively). His promo video is also very telling. While the over the top production makes it hilarious at points, it does showcase (see what I did there?) a guy with incredible athletic ability and the raw tools of strength, speed, coordination and baseball instinct to be a top MLB player. I will leave you with his WBC slash line to ponder and be in awe of until he reports to spring training: .458/.480/1.000.


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