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It’s Scary to Think Cespedes Is Better Than Last Year

In the 2013 Homerun Derby, Mets fans got a chance to see Yoenis Cespedes’ awe inspiring power. During Cespedes’ display of his potencia, he would hit 23 homers beating Bryce Harper for the title. 

On that stage, Cespedes showed himself to have outstanding power. However, it never fully translated to games. In his first three seasons, he only averaged 24 homers and a .464 slugging. He was never Top 10 in the American League in either catergory. His isolated power over those three seasons was a very good .201. However, seeing Cespedes in that homerun derby, you just knew that he was capable of more. 

Maybe he needed to get out of ballparks like O.co or Commerica. Maybe he needed to play in a big market. Maybe, just maybe, he needed to set foot back in Citi Field. 

As reported by Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, Cespedes feels comfortable and at home as a member of the Mets. Cespedes said, “I’ve said as much as I got here last year, it feels very much at home here.”  His manager Terry Collins agrees saying, “[Cespedes] wants to play in New York City, and that says a lot, because a lot of guys would shy away from that challenge.”

Upon setting foot upon the New York stage, Cespedes looked at home. He rose to the challenge. In just 57 games, he hit .287/.337/.604 with 17 homers. Extrapolating that over the course of a full 162 game season, Cespedes would’ve hit 48 homeruns. The 48 homeruns would’ve led the league, and the slugging would’ve been good for second in the league. The .314 isolated power was off the charts good. 

The only thing more amazing than Cespedes’ run after the trade deadline is the run he’s on to start the 2016 season. 

This year, Cespedes is hitting .281/.358/.611. with 15 homers in 46 games. He’s leading the majors in homers. His .330 isolated power is even better than it was last year. He’s on pace to hit 58 homers. While these numbers seem unbelievable, it is quickly becoming what is expected from Cespedes. Assistant GM John Ricco said, “I hope it’s sustainable. Whether it is or not, we’ll see. But he’s certainly proven over his time with us that he is that level of player.”

Cespedes is that level of player now because he continues to put the work in that is necessary to raise his game. As his hitting coach Kevin Long says, “Its hard to say this and not sound arrogant about a certain player, but he’s getting better. He’s really understanding his self, his swing, his strike zone, what pitches he does more damage on. He’s maturing as a player.”

Cespedes agrees with Long’s statements saying, “You don’t usually seeing someone at this age make adjustments. However, when you meet someone in this league that’s 29 or 30, they’ve probably also been playing longer than the five years that I have. So I think if they feel they need to make adjustments, they probably make them earlier in life.”  

With these adjustments, Cespedes has vaulted himself among the best players in the game. Collins puts it perfectly as he says, “He’s a star. He’s a good player. He does what stars do.”  

Cespedes had to come to the Mets to become a star. He had to come to the Mets to unlock his full potential.  Cespedes belongs in a Mets uniform. Cespedes said it himself when he said, “It feels as if I’ve been playing here a very long time. And I could spend the rest of my life with this team.”  

Editor’s Note: this was first published on metsmerizedonline.com

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