When the Oakland Athletics signed Yoenis Cespedes to his four year, $36 million contract this past off season, it was largely thought of as a calculated risk. There was a ton of raw talent there, but he was far from a typical rookie: 26-years-old and probably in need of some Minor League seasoning before he could be counted on to provide any effectiveness at the Major League level.
Now we see that as the regular season winds down, Cespedes is a big reason why the Oakland A’s are so close to securing a playoff spot. If his .350 OBP; .497 SLG; .365 wOBA; and 135 wRC+ over 523 plate appearances isn’t convincing enough, consider this: The Athletics are 78-47 with Cespedes in the lineup, and 12-21 without him.
I suppose that’s part of what happens when you have a player that can go from first to home on a single, as the brilliant Cespedes did on Saturday. If Mike Trout was being Mike Trout this season, the American League Rookie of the Year would not stray away from the AL West Division.