Note To Self: Trade Yoenis Cespedes

Trade Yoenis Cespedes? Are you crazy, Erik? Three of his first four hits left the yard! He'll steal bases too! He's hitting .308 (well, .250 after Monday's game) and has entrenched himself as the A's cleanup hitter! What's not to like here?

How about nine strikeouts and one walk in 16 at-bats?

NINE. In SIXTEEN AT-BATS. To re-state it in a more alarming way, almost half his plate appearances have resulted in K's (in addition to the walk, he's got two HBPs). That's not a swing with holes in it, that's a chasm with a swing hanging onto the cliff's edge by its fingernails. Keep in mind this is coming against pitchers who don't yet have a book on him.

OK, sure, maybe he's been swinging from his heels to try and justify his contract, and his contact rate will improve. Yes, agreed, it's a teeny tiny sample size. But it's not like the strikeouts have come against entirely elite pitching. King Felix got him three times over two games, but Tom Wilhemsen also rang him up twice as did the immortal Luis Mendoza. The other two whiffs came courtesy of Jason Vargas and Steve Delabar, the guy who was coaching high school a year ago who isn't Dennis Quaid.

Would trading him now be an overreaction? Of course. Any trade made a week into the season is almost by definition an overreaction to something, whether it's a player's performance and/or perceived weakness coming out of the auction or draft. But what seems more likely: Cespedes stops having to face the terrifying likes of Luis Mendoza every night, or the Luis Mendoza's of the world stop grooving fastballs until he learns to hit their adequate breaking pitches?


By: Thomas Callahan
On: 4/10/2012 3:03:00 AM
''...a chasm with a swing hanging onto a cliff's edge with two fingernails.'' Classic line. And I agree with your premise entirely. Once there's a book on him even a Boston reliever might be able to strike him out.
By: Polocash7
On: 4/10/2012 6:57:00 AM
I would as soon as I can get a better player 4 him
By: Scott Pianowski
On: 4/10/2012 8:00:00 AM
It all comes down to the market, which will very greatly from league to league, but I'm positive Cespedes is overvalued in some leagues, and there's certainly plenty of downside here, as Erik underscored.

I see nothing wrong with making early trades (or pickups), so long as you're not being absurd about it. The league is *constantly* fluid; everything is always changing. Forget waiting for the day where you have all the answers; they're going to change anyway. When you see opportunities, take them, no matter what the calendar says. This is especially true for mixed leagues, where you have more choices available than the mono-players do.

By: thepearl-673
On: 4/10/2012 8:18:00 AM
You might want to use a different example of poor pitching to make your point rather than Mendosa. (BTW he didn't "groove a fastball", Cespedes was 0-3 against him) Mendosa seems to me to be very undervalued. I'd rather start him than many pitchers people take over him. Let's see at the end of the season.
By: thepearl-673
On: 4/10/2012 8:20:00 AM
Yeah, I know. It's Mendoza, not Mendosa. Should have taken spelling in school.
By: matthewthill7
On: 4/10/2012 11:52:00 AM
Oh if I owned Cespedes anywhere I'd be looking to sell so fast.
By: msarvi
On: 4/10/2012 2:04:00 PM
Two words, Sammy Sosa.
By: Zenguerrilla
On: 4/11/2012 7:32:00 AM
I am all for trading anyone at anytime including week one but I don't see this as really selling him on a high. You might be able to get more than draft value with him but I am not sure his positives(hr's) outweigh his negatives(k's) unless you are playing with knuckleheads. Probably a better player to trade in a package deal than straight up. I agree that Mendoza is undervalued but I don't know about Cespedes = Sosa? More like Pedro Cerrano...
By: herbst13
On: 4/11/2012 8:40:00 PM
I'll buy. Sure he'll probably strikeout 200 times and hit around .250. But with 30 plus bombs and double digit bags, he will out-produce his relatively modest draft day price tag (I paid 9 bucks in a 12 team mixed league). His upside is close to what Mark Reynolds put up in '09.
By: MaineSkin
On: 4/12/2012 3:18:00 PM
Go ahead and sell, I'll buy the guy who stole 3B yesterday while having 3 dongs ok the year. He runs a 6.2s 60 and benches over 350lbs. and, at the break, he'll be dealt to Phi, Bos or NY and absolutely mash! Cespedes has no idea how to hit American SP, but is already among the top OFs. You won't get any value bc no one believes. The guy is a work-aholic and is working on his swing and pitch recognition everyday.

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