All players that make it to the major leagues are gifted, but Yoenis Cespedes is a freak of nature. He not only is a five-tool baseball player that does everything well on the field, but he showed in his highly-touted showcase video that he is a workout machine. He showed off his cannon-like arm and powerful bat, but also his pure strength by his impressive squats, bench presses, and leaping ability. This impressed the Oakland A’s enough to earn a long-term contract without playing a game in the major leagues.
The biggest tool that Cespedes was expected to showcase was his power at the plate. In Cuba, he was a power phenom, who drove the ball to all parts of the ballpark. That has remained true with the A’s as he quickly became the heart and soul of their offense. Though he played in only 129 games as a rookie, Cespedes still slugged 23 homeruns. Were it not for Mike Trout’s amazing rookie campaign, he would have surely won the Rookie of the Year Award.
During the next season, while he struggled initially, his bat caught fire as the season wore on. In 130 games, he was able to crush 26 homeruns and again be a key player in the Athletics post-season run. He also dazzled during the all-star break by winning the homerun derby and showing off his jaw-dropping power. This season with 14 homeruns through his first 69 games, he is on pace for a career season.
But, Cespedes is not only just a power hitter, he has a bazooka-like arm in left field, also. In two-plus big league seasons, Cespedes already has 28 outfield assists. This season he already has thrown out a league leading nine runners who have tried to advance on him, many of them not even close plays. After throwing out two Angels at the plate in one inning, he showed that he indeed does have the strongest outfield arm in all of baseball.
While his amazing workout video gave a glimpse of what he could be, Cespedes has been so much more. He has become an instant star and has helped they A’s become immediate contenders. A transition to the major leagues is not supposed to be easy, but for Cespedes, it has been a breeze.
Statistics Provided by Baseball Reference