The Oakland A's surprised a lot of people when they signed Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year deal worth $36 million back in February, and for good reason.
It's not like the A's to throw that kind of money around, and many were baffled by the notion that the organization that spawned the "Moneyball" movement would covet a free-swinger with minimal experience against major league pitching.
Right about now, it's apparent that the A's knew what they were doing.
Cespedes' first season in the major leagues is going better than even the most optimistic dreamers would have dared to dream. He's had trouble staying healthy, but he's been one of the most destructive players in the league when he's been in Oakland's lineup. And by now, it's clear that the A's are a completely different team when Cespedes plays.
And since the A's now have the third-best record in the American League, it's time to give Cespedes some credit as a legitimate American League MVP candidate.
Here are this week's AL MVP rankings. Scroll ahead to see where Cespedes stands.
Note: All stats come from Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.