3/2/17

Mack Ade - Yoenis Cespedes

20 comments


Good morning.


It’s been a long time since a bat of this caliber has been on this team. Carlos Beltran probably qualifies here. Definitely Mike Piazza, but one must think long and deep to come up with another one.

The Gramma, Cuba native has made baseball headlines since he defected from Cuba in 2011. He has had success wherever he has played (Oakland, Boston, Detroit), but it’s as Met that he’s had the most success. In fact, his power seems to be growing… his top two professional OPS ratings were the Mets in 2015 (941) and last season (884).

He’s now ours through the 2020 season and one hopes that we have one of the top baseball players in the game in our outfield.

Christopher Soto, of Mack's Mets, adds - 

Re-signing Yo was clearly the most important thing on Alderson's off-season laundry list. There was no longer any questions amongst those in the front office is Cespedes was "worth it" from a money and personality standpoint. Honestly the only thing that is really surprising about the re-signing was the fact that the Mets "only" had to shell out $110M over 4 years. In today's era of big and long contracts, $110M seemed quite light from total dollars standpoint.

Regardless, Cespedes has found a home in New York and it has shown in the stat line. As a NYM, Cespedes has posted a .282 AVG/.903 OPS with a 8.2% BB rate. That's 13 AVG points higher, 113 OPS higher, and 2 % points better on the BB rate. There should be no doubt that Cespedes will continue to anchor this line-up with his destructive power for at least the next 2-3 seasons.

David Rubin, of Mack's Mets, chimes in - 

Yo, Yo, Yo- I NEVER had a doubt he'd be back (lie)!!! I went out and purchased multiple Mets' shirts with his name/number on it (lie- only 2 t-shirts)!!! It wouldn't have been a big deal if he signed elsewhere (HUGE LIE!!! It would've CRUSHED me!!!) Okay- Cespedes represents something we have had less than a handful of across the team's star-crossed history- a 2-way slugging 5-tool star! Strawberry, Beltran, Piazza, and for a little while, David Wright- that's it! Hernandez was a superstar but not a slugger; Carter was a superstar but by the time we had him his knees and body had begun to really break down; Delgado wasn't a great fielder, Murray was at the end of a long HOF career and don't get me started on Roberto Alomar!!!! 

When Sandy traded for Yo, I was ecstatic, although I had followed Fulmer and truly thought he'd make a good major league starter. The best trades, though, are those in which both teams make out well, and even though Fulmer was the ROY this past season, without Yo we didn't make it to the '15 World Series nor would we have been a play-off team in '16. When he signed his short-term deal with opt-out after the '15 season, everyone knew that short of blowing out a body-part there was NO WAY he wouldn't opt out. What few knew for sure, but most prayed for, was that Sandy would find a way to convince Mr. Cespedes to stay in his beloved New York (as well as convincing the Wilponzies to pony up for a $100 million+ contract to keep him in the Big Apple!)


I have to admit, I have an "inside spy"  - someone whose buddy plays golf with Yo pretty regularly, who admitted to my "spy" last year that all things being equal, as long as the Mets were in the ballpark of other offers, Yo planned on coming back to enthrall his New York fanbase for years to come! Sandy knew it, Cespedes really made no secret about it, and we were blessed- and I do NOT use that word lightly- to have the most exciting position player in our line-up every day for the next 4 years this side of Mike Trout (and, living in SoCal and being an Angels fan, I get to see TROUT all the time, too!) While writers were wondering if signing Cespedes to a guaranteed contract meant he wouldn't work as hard during the season, I had to laugh, because anyone who knows Cespedes even a little knows how serious he takes not only his work but his status in the game. Cespedes has gone on record as saying he'd like to stay in great shape for another 10 years so that he has a chance at becoming a Hall of Famer some day. Admittedly, he got a late start by losing early years to being in Cuba and then getting adjusted to the US version of the game as well as adjusting to life in general in America. I'd say that, based on how his career has progressed, I wouldn't want to bet against him achieving his goal.


I also had the chance to speak with representatives from both the Padres and Diamondbacks over the past 2 years via attending various baseball dinners, as well as last years' All-Star FanFest, and the one thing I asked each of them was this- "Is the Cespedes we are seeing with the Mets an example of what we can expect to see in the future?" Everyone I spoke with were unanimous in both their praise for our Leftfielder, as well as pretty confident that his pride and ethic would drive him to play just as hard once he signed an MLB contract. When Professional Scouts, Front Office Execs and Player Personnel experts are united in thought, there's a pretty darn good chance that their thinking will become truth. 


We all know that a motivated, healthy Cespedes is capable of so much- gold glove defense, a rocket for an arm in LF, huge home run power in any park at any time, great base-running (when he's focused and not injured) and a bat capable of producing a plethora of singles, double and triples in huge amounts. It's not just the numbers - it's watching the catches that remind me of Bo Jackson; it's seeing the rocketing homers that remind me of the quick-wristed Hank Aaron; it's the joy of playing the game that reminds me of Griffey Junior that make Cespedes baseball's version of "must see TV." Therefore, I'm going to go out on a very short ledge and predict that a healthy Yo will provide 36 homers, 112 RBI's, a .550 SLG Avg and an OPS above .880 while playing Gold Glove caliber ball in LF. In short, what we should become used to seeing from a more consistent Cespedes.


Finally, I have to admit- I recently ordered another Yo tee, this one a traditional name/number tee, as opposed to the cartoon-like ones I had ordered last year. I own over 90 Mets tees/jerseys combined (to go with another 30 or so non-Mets baseball tees and about 15 non-Met jerseys) - but I also have a pile of "lost souls" t-shirts of former players that have been banished to another room in the house, on the top shelf, in the very back of the closet. I was praying that Yo's tees wouldn't join the likes of Mike Cameron, K-Rod, Delgado and Dickey any time soon- now, I can happily say that my birthday gift to myself this year will be an authentic Cespedes jersey- and THAT is one of the fringe benefits of Sandy signing Yo to a long-term deal. After all, it's the LEAST I can do to support the Wilponzes!!!!! And Yo?? See ya when you come out here to SoCal and San Diego this year, and, most likely, I'll have to come see you in CitiField, too- because you, my friend, are worth the trip!!!

Opinion – I absolutely loved the resigning of this guy and I don’t think the Mets fans (and writers) give the front office enough kudos on this move. He easily could have been lost to another team. 

What does the outfield look like now?

Well, experts say Cespedes is the best left fielder in the business so I say let’s play him there.

Next, I would play Jay Bruce in right field so I can showcase him for a mid-season trade. I want Michael Conforto to play every day here, but it just isn't possible untilI can dump Bruce (unless he can play first base).

This leaves center for Juan Lagares, a previous gold glove center fielder.

That’s my starting outfield… three positions… two big bats… two big gloves.

20 comments:

Thomas Brennan said...

You guys are too conservative. A healthy Yo (last year was not) will go 45/120/.290 this year. He is, after all, on the way to the Hall of Fame

Thomas Brennan said...

You guys are too conservative. A healthy Yo (last year was not) will go 45/120/.290 this year. He is, after all, on the way to the Hall of Fame

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

I love your optimism

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, I just figured a few things:

1) he was hurt all year after the April dive into the stands - had to impact his offense

2) he only played 131 games, and I am figuring 155 this year

3) he will feel settled and he is working out to be 110% prepared

Just boosting last year's 31 homers to reflect 155 games instead of 131 gets Yo to 37 homers. I'm thinking if he is healthy and last year he wasn't, he'll hit an extra homer ever 20 games to get him from 37 to 45.

So I feel this 45 projection is realistic, if he stays healthy. It sure would be nice to see that old Mets anemic record of 41 go bye bye.

Mack Ade said...

My hope is he has some influence on the young Cuban prospects that are coming stateside and being declared a free agent

eraff said...

um ...a pic of Jeurys?

Mack Ade said...

thanks for pointing that out - I'll get it changed

Reese Kaplan said...

Two home grown players started out as good or better than Yo -- Darryl Strawberry and David Wright. One lost the battle with his demons and the other with Citifield and his body. I'd also give a shout out to the most underrated player ever to don a Mets uniform -- John Olerud. Granted, he was only here about 3 years but what a three years it was.

Adam Smith said...

While I'm really excited to have Yo in LF, I can't help feeling that we're about to play the wrong guys in the other OF spots. I'm willing to bet that Lagares/Conforto would be a far more valuable CF/RF combo than Granderson/Bruce, but I think we're going to see the latter, primarily.

Hobie said...

That, Reese. For those lamenting D.Smith's lack of HR's, I'm much happier if he's closer to Olerud than, say, Ryan Howard.

Gary Seagren said...

I agree I love the signing now all we have to figure out is what to do with David...such a sad ending. I also agree with Reese and Hobie about Olerud as the best Met no one talks about and they let him go to sign the immortal Todd Zeile. I believe he only wanted a 3 yr deal and his numbers in the next 3 years were an unbelievable FOUR HUNDRED AND SEVENTY TWO GAMES PLAYED and 300 RBI and only averaged 15 dingers a year over a 17 yr career. I would be thrilled if Smith could be a solid contact hitter with say 15-20 HR a year and great defense...well here's hoping.

Reese Kaplan said...

I know it's heresy among Mets fans to say so, but if ever you get into a debate about the best player the Mets have had at each position you could certainly make a strong case for picking Olerud over Keith Hernandez.

Eddie Corona said...

Tom
36 Hr and 112 RBI and that is being conservative? Wow talks about the best is yet to come...

Mack Your point about Ces being able to influence the Cuban Prospect is a great point...Lets start with his brother (or is it his cousin?)

Eddie Corona said...

Reese
Olerud was amazing... So underrated..
Personally I Love Kevin Reynolds Growing up

Eddie Corona said...

Gary
I remember we actually offered the same Salary to Olerud as Seattle... Word was he wanted to return home... I remember saying that we should not have matched the Seattle offer... We should have blown away the Seattle offer to Bring him back...
Zeile was brought in after we lost Olerud...

Eddie Corona said...

Reese
Hernandez Is still my Favorite player but you make a good point... Lets hope D Smith or Alonzo makes this argument a Moot point...

Thomas Brennan said...

I want Cespedes to put up Albert Belle in his prime #s

Thomas Brennan said...

Boy, Albert Belle was surly, but man could he hit - take a look at his #'s - top 2 RBI seasons, he averaged 150. Top 2 extra base hit seasons, he averaged 100 of them. Top 3 homer years, he averaged 49. he only had one year with over 105 Ks.

If Yoenis Cespedes could do THAT, wow.

Hobie said...

Surly, you jest.

Thomas Brennan said...

:)

Mack's Mets © 2012