Monday, February 13, 2012
Over/under: Yoenis Cespedes' home runs
By David Schoenfield
Well, we have to go here today, don't we?
The Oakland A's surprised everyone by agreeing to a deal with Cuban free-agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, a deal reportedly worth $36 million over four years, including $6.5 million in 2012.
With that kind of payout, the A's certainly expect Cespedes to be ready immediately for the majors. While there's no doubt about his tools -- here's Kevin Goldstein's ESPN Insider survey that compares Cespedes to center fielders like Adam Jones, Colby Rasmus, Drew Stubbs and Chris Young -- it's a big leap from Cuba to the major leagues.
With Coco Crisp entrenched in center, Cespedes probably plays right field this season. How many home runs will he hit? As Keith Law writes in his scouting report, Cespedes has plus-plus raw power. The question is how that will translate as a rookie.
Factoring in the transition, the chance that he might spend a month in Triple-A, and the fact that Oakland is a tough park for home runs, I'll take the conservative route and set the over/under at 19.5 home runs.