Oakland Athletics: What Do We Know About Yoenis Cespedes?

Zak SchmollAnalyst IMarch 4, 2012


Yoenis Cespedes arrived in Arizona for the Oakland Athletics' spring training today, according to the Huffington Post. The 26-year-old Cuban defector signed a four-year, $36 million contract with Oakland earlier this winter and will be looking to make an immediate impact at the major league level.

However, beyond all the hype, what do we really know about Yoenis Cespedes?

His reputation was essentially built during the 2009 World Baseball Classic while he was playing for Cuba. According to Baseball Reference, in just six games he hit .458 with a double, three triples, two home runs, five runs and five RBI. Obviously, that high level of production while playing against some of the best competition in the world will raise some eyebrows.

Beyond that one great series, however, he has been putting up solid numbers in Cuba since 2004. 2011 was his best season to date, where he hit .333 with a .424 on-base percentage, 33 home runs, 99 RBI and 11 stolen bases with only 354 at-bats.

Overall, he has hit 159 home runs in eight seasons, but his power has been developing as he gets older. In fact, his entire game has been getting better. He seems to possess all five tools and should just be entering into his prime.

However, everything I just mentioned has been in the past. Obviously, the Oakland Athletics are wondering about his future. Will he ultimately be worth the investment?

Only time will tell, but with his natural talent, there is no reason that he should not be successful. Major League Baseball is different than the Cuban league, but the skills needed are the same. Cespedes has all the skills, and I wish him the best as he transitions to Major League Baseball.

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