In what looks to be a long, miserable season for the Oakland A’s, Yoenis Cespedes is giving A’s fans a reason to pay attention.
Yes, I am going to talk about the A’s, so deal with it.
It is only been seven games, but Cespedes has hit home runs in three of them. The second home run being the best, measuring 462 feet and almost landing above the luxury suites at the O.co Coliseum
The best compliment I can pay Cespedes after seven games is that, I make sure not to miss a pitch he sees. If Kurt Suzuki or Josh Donaldson is up to bat, I might decide to take out the garbage, but if I know Cespedes is coming up, the garbage can wait.
My first thought after seeing the 462 foot blast, was to wonder if he was on steroids. Anytime I see something amazing in sports now, I wonder if the athlete cheated to do the amazing feat he just did. It’s the way many sports fans are wired in 2012.
After discussing it with my wife and us both agreeing that Cespedes hasn’t failed a drug test and we should give him the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise (Yes, my wife discusses baseball with me). We also realized that we don’t know what kind of access he would’ve had to performance enhancing drugs in Cuba. We were going to enjoy the fun of seeing the A’s have an exciting player for the first time since Frank Thomas, back in 2006. You can’t count Matt Holliday or Nick Swisher, because while they had power, they didn’t bring that same level of anticipation and excitement Frank Thomas did when he approached the plate.
There is a question about how Cespedes will adjust once the pitchers of the American League start to identify potential weaknesses he has at the plate and attack them. Seeing how he adjusts to the first adjustments by the pitchers will tell us a lot about the ceiling of Cespedes.
Cespedes came to MLB with a reputation for striking out a lot and he has lived up to that reputation, striking out 11 times in the seven games he has played. There hasn’t been a game that he hasn’t recorded a strikeout. He needs to lower that amount, unless he wants to become the next Richie Sexson, where the impact of his high home run totals are offset by his high strikeout totals. There was also a play in Centerfield this past Saturday where he took a few steps in and watched an Ichiro Suzuki line drive sail over his head, allowing Dustin Ackley to score a run and put Suzuki on third. That gaffe isn’t concerning, unless it becomes a reoccurring problem, but for now we will call it an isolated incident.
The gigantic elephant in the room when talking about any impactful A’s player is will the organization trade Cespedes before too long. I can’t tell you that won’t happen, but he will be traded if the A’s don’t get their new ballpark in San Jose, Ca. Even though GAP clothing heir John Fisher and his billions own a large majority of the franchise, the A’s continue to cry poor and say they can’t compete without a new stadium. If Bud Selig doesn’t approve the A’s plans to build a new stadium in the San Francisco Giants territory of San Jose, Cespedes is gone.
With all that being said, A’s fans have been starving for excitement and Cespedes brings that. Who knows what the future holds for Cespedes in an A’s uniform, I just know as an A’s fan in April of 2012, I am excited to have a player on the roster that other American League teams have to account for and will motivate more than 10,000 people to go see a game.