Yoenis Cespedes, Outfield, New York Mets
Date of Birth: 10/18/1985
Birthplace: Campechuela, Cuba
Current Salary: $22,500,000
Nickname: La Potencia, El Talento
Yoenis Cespedes, outfielder for the New York Mets, played professional baseball in Cuba from 2003-2011. He defected from Cuba in the summer of 2011. He signed a four-year, $36 million contract with the Oakland Athletics in February, 2012.
In 2012, his first season in the major leagues, Cespedes was impressive with a .292 batting average, 142 hits, 25 doubles, 23 home runs, 16 stolen bases, and 82 RBIs in 129 games. The following season, his batting average dropped to .240 but he still had good numbers with 127 hits, 21 doubles, 26 home runs, and 80 RBIs in 135 games.
Cespedes was traded to the Boston Red Sox on July 31, 2014. He finished the 2014 season with 156 hits, 36 doubles, 22 home runs, 100 RBIs, and a .260 batting average in 101 games with the Athletics and 51 games with the Red Sox.
Cespedes showed off his power with the bat in both the 2013 and 2014 Home Run Derby matches. He won both championships, in 2013 with 32 home runs and in 2014 with 28 home runs.
On December 11, 2014, Cespedes was traded to the Detroit Tigers. He was traded again at the July 31, 2015 trade deadline, this time to the Mets. He finished the 2015 season with 184 hits, 42 doubles, 35 home runs, 105 RBIs, and a .291 batting average in 102 games with the Tigers and 57 games with the Mets. He had a strong year defensively, winning his first Gold Glove (as a Tiger). As a left fielder in 134 games, he made 247 putouts and 5 errors.
Cespedes had a .222 batting average in postseason play in 2015. In 54 at-bats in 14 games, he had 12 hits, including 1 double and 2 home runs, 1 stolen base, and 8 RBIs. He struck out 17 times and walked once.
On January 26, Cespedes agreed to return to the Mets on a three-year, $75 million contract. The contract includes an opt-out option after the 2016 season. In 2016, he batted .280 with 134 hits, 25 doubles, 31 home runs, and 86 RBIs in 132 games. He won his first Silver Slugger award for his offensive numbers. Defensively, he split his time between left field (80 games) and center field (63 games). He made 250 putouts and 5 errors. In the Wild Card game, he had no hits in 4 at-bats.
After the Wild Card game in 2016, Cespedes opted out of his contract with the Mets. He re-signed with the Mets on November 30, 2016. His new contract is for $110 million over four years.
Career batting statistics for Cespedes through 2016 include:
- 707 games played
- 743 hits
- 149 doubles
- 137 home runs
- 453 RBIs
- 616 strikeouts to 199 walks
- .272 batting average
Career fielding statistics for Cespedes as a left fielder through 2015 include:
- 489 games played
- 878 putouts
- 21 errors
- .978 fielding percentage