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2012 Fantasy Baseball Projection: Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes officially became a member of the Oakland Athletics today after a 20 day wait in the Dominican Republic as he was awaiting his work visa.  Cespedes is suddenly a rich man having signed a 4 year $36 million contract with Oakland.

Cespedes will wear number 52 and will likely bat in the 3 or 4 hole for the Athletics.  Cespedes will likely play center field with Coco Crisp, he with the great hair, moving to left field.

The 6-foot, 215-pound Cespedes, age 26,  played eight seasons for Granma in the Cuban League, tallying a record 33 home runs to go along with a .333 average and 99 RBIs in 90 games during the 2010-11 campaign. He was also Cuba’s starting center fielder during the 2009 World Baseball Classic, batting .458 in six games.

Scouting Report: Yoenis Cespedes

An excerpt from Baseball America said that “Cespedes has a track record of hitting, both in Cuba and during international tournaments. Cespedes’ performance at the 2009 World Baseball Classic(where he ranked No. 6 on our Top 20 World Baseball Classic prospects list) in particular seems to have made an impression on scouts and helped convince them of his ability to hit high-level pitching. He has excellent bat speed and has repeatedly shown the ability to smash a fastball, so there isn’t much doubt about his ability to handle premium velocity.”

A look at Cespedes swing shows a slightly open and wide stance with quick bat speed.

“He’s got a very balanced swing,” said a Latin American director. “His lower half is very balanced. He doesn’t load very much but he’s strong and his hands are pretty quick. There weren’t any of those crazy types of swings where the guy’s just trying to hit the ball out of the park.”

One thing is for sure, Cespedes is a freak of an athlete.  Dial up the video below to 6:20 and watch his 6.3 60 speed, his 45 inch box jump, and his ability to leg press 1300 pounds!

Fantasy Baseball Projection: Yoenis Cespedes

We have already named Cespedes our #4 ranked sleeper at the outfield position.

In a mixed league, Cespedes is likely a fifth outfielder for you this year.  He is a 25 home run guy next year and ongoing.  Cespedes won’t be helped by having to hit in Oakland, but given his strength and ability to hit mammoth tape measure home runs, it won’t be too tough for Cespedes to go yard in Oakland.

ESPN Projections: .265/12/55/57/6

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