Yoenis Cespedes
Yoenis Cespedes
34-Year-Old OutfielderOF
New York Mets
Out
Injury Ankle
Est. Return 2/1/2020
2020 Fantasy Outlook
In the fall of 2018, Cespedes underwent a pair of heel surgeries with the expectation of returning to the Mets after the All-Star break. Just as he was beginning to start light running, Cespedes fell at his ranch, fracturing his right ankle in multiple places and requiring season-ending surgery. Cespedes has played in just 109 games the past three seasons. He has one year remaining on his contract with the Mets, but his prognosis is unclear. It's a good sign he was able to take batting practice in November, but it's not a guarantee he'll play in 2020, let alone be ready for the spring. The best approach is to monitor reports and if it appears Cespedes will be back, take nothing more than a reserve flier in leagues allowing FAAB or waiver pickups. He's too much of a risk in draft and hold, no matter how enticing. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $110 million contract with the Mets in November of 2016.
Restructures contract
OFNew York Mets
Ankle
December 13, 2019
Cespedes (ankle) and the Mets agreed to a restructured contract Friday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Cespedes had been scheduled to make $29.5 million this season but will now make significantly less. The outfielder has appeared in just 119 games over the last three seasons combined. He's been hitting and running as he works his way back from multiple ankle fractures, injuries he suffered after taking a fall on his ranch back in May, though his availability for the start of the 2020 season remains in question. Due to the questionable nature of that injury, which occurred as Cespedes was recovering from heel surgery, the Mets were able to file a grievance and save reportedly over $10 million ahead of the 2020 season.
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+7%
OPS vs RHP
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
+40%
OPS vs RHP
2017
 
 
+2%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017vs Left .828 125 17 7 14 0 .231 .328 .500
Since 2017vs Right .882 353 49 19 57 3 .299 .348 .534
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left .624 37 3 1 3 0 .167 .324 .300
2018vs Right .875 120 17 8 26 3 .288 .325 .550
2017vs Left .906 88 14 6 11 0 .256 .330 .577
2017vs Right .886 233 32 11 31 0 .305 .361 .526
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
 
 
+7%
OPS on Road
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
+10%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+15%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2017Home .839 231 33 9 26 1 .296 .368 .471
Since 2017Away .895 247 33 17 45 2 .270 .320 .575
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home .866 67 9 4 14 1 .295 .358 .508
2018Away .788 90 11 5 15 2 .238 .300 .488
2017Home .827 164 24 5 12 0 .297 .372 .455
2017Away .954 157 22 12 30 0 .288 .331 .623
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
Cespedes changed up his routine last offseason in hopes of avoiding the types of lower-body issues that had limited him in previous years, adding resistance and agility training while cutting back on the weightlifting. It was a good idea in theory, but it didn't work out. Cespedes was on the disabled list with a hip injury by mid-May. He didn't make it back until after the All-Star break, and ultimately Cespedes played in just one game upon activation before he was back on the shelf for good. It was determined that Cespedes was dealing with calcification in both of his heels, and two separate surgeries were required to treat the issue -- the first in August and the second in October. During his brief time on the field, he continued to blister the ball, although he also struck out at an elevated 31.8% clip (21% for career). The Mets are hoping Cespedes can return at some point in the second half.
The injuries to the Mets' pitching staff were most responsible for the team's plight in 2017, but Cespedes' absence from the heart of the order for half the season due to a recurring upper-leg injury certainly didn't go unnoticed. With an .892 OPS over 321 plate appearances, Cespedes looked like his usual self when he was able to take the field, but now entering his age-32 campaign and coming off back-to-back seasons that were interrupted by lower-body issues, it has become increasingly difficult to justify spending an early-round draft pick on the outfielder. Since Cespedes doesn't offer much help in steals, his value is more power-dependent than others at his position likely to come off the board around the same range, putting an even greater onus on him to stay healthy. While Cespedes' upside is clear -- look no further than his 2015 campaign for the four-category excellence he's capable of offering -- the age- and injury-related risk he carries needs to be taken into account.
The Cuban slugger is coming off a pair of outstanding seasons, though 2016 was hampered by a lingering groin injury which eventually required a short visit to the DL in early August. That didn't stop Cespedes from topping the 30-homer mark for the second straight season. He also exhibited more patience, walking nine percent of the time, a new career high. Cespedes' game still revolves around swinging as hard as he can in case he happens to make contact, something he's done at a steady 77-79 percent clip the last three years -- not great but acceptable in today's higher strikeout climate. The only thing keeping Cespedes from elite status is a lack of steals as players that can chip in 10 or so along with pop are more highly sought after. Still, Cespedes is easily a top-40 player so be ready to pony up on draft day.
Core Strength! Cespedes cooked up his numbers to another level in 2015 with an elite fantasy season, finishing ninth overall in offensive value and as the sixth best outfielder. He’s never going to be a patient hitter, but as long as he makes league-average contact and continues to crush the ball, fantasy owners won’t care. He had a career-best .323 BABIP because he also was among the league leaders in hard contact, so a decline in that area could bring his average back down to the league average instead of well above it. He picked the perfect time to have a career year, but ultimately settled for about half of what he was looking for initially in free agency, returning to the Mets on a three-year deal. His contract includes an opt-out after one year, though, so Cespedes should be highly motivated to try to repeat his 2015 campaign. Invest in full.
Cespedes split the 2014 season between Oakland and Boston, playing his final 51 games for the Red Sox. His final numbers indicate what was expected of him -- a middle of the order bat who doesn’t get on base at a great clip. He stayed healthy and had his first 100-RBI season and played 152 games. Defensively, he struggled in Boston while attempting to adjust to playing in front of the Green Monster. With only one year remaining on his contract, Cespedes was traded to the Tigers in December for Rick Porcello. He'll take over as the starting left fielder in Detroit, with the potential to sustain his improved RBI count in the heart of a strong Tigers lineup.
Cespedes continues to be a mix of amazing and frustrating at the same time. He can make plays on both offense and defense that convince scouts and fans than he is on the verge of superstar status, but he hasn't been able to put it all together to this point. Cespedes hit 26 home runs in just 135 games, but his stolen bases dropped into the single digits. Cespedes carried a .240 batting average on the year and put up an average over .240 in only one month of the season, when he closed out the year by hitting .314 in September. Cespedes clearly has a ton of power and natural talent, but he needs to avoid minor injuries -- he has missed over 25 games in each of his first two seasons -- to even approach the lofty expectations set for him. He also needs to learn how to hit while behind in the count, as he was utterly miserable with two strikes on him, slashing .130/.175/.216 in at-bats that reached a two-strike count.
Cespedes was everything the A's hoped for and more after they signed the Cuban defector to a four-year, $36 million deal. Most reports out of spring training indicated he would likely need some seasoning in the minors, but he was in the starting lineup for the A's on Opening Night. He showed a diverse skill set including power and speed (23 homers and 16 steals) as well as showing off an absolute cannon in the outfield. He did have a number of nagging injuries during the year that kept him out of the lineup for approximately 30 games. Cespedes is locked into a middle of the order lineup spot for the A's and with a year under his belt, the sky is the limit for Cespedes as a player entering his second MLB season.
Cespedes defected from Cuba last summer and tied the single-season home run record in the Serie Nacional (Cuba's top league) with 33 in 90 games in 2010-11. He played on Cuba's 2009 World Baseball Classic team. He may be the most high-profile hitter to come out of Cuba in the past few years and is being marketed as a center fielder with power. At age 26 (according to him), he's also younger than most players coming from Cuba or Japan. After signing a four-year, $36 million deal with Oakland in February, Cespedes could be a starter in the outfield for the A's from Day 1.
More Fantasy News
Increasing activity
OFNew York Mets
Ankle
December 9, 2019
Cespedes (ankle) has been hitting for several weeks and has also started running, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports.
ANALYSIS
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Takes batting practice
OFNew York Mets
Ankle
November 19, 2019
Cespedes (ankle) took batting practice Tuesday, Tim Healey of Newsday reports.
ANALYSIS
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Continuing rehab
OFNew York Mets
Ankle
November 4, 2019
Cespedes (ankle) continues to rehab from his injuries, but it's uncertain whether he will be able to play in 2020, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Undergoes season-ending surgery
OFNew York Mets
Ankle
May 23, 2019
Cespedes underwent season-ending surgery on his right ankle Thursday, Matt Ehalt of Yahoo Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
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Suffers ankle fractures
OFNew York Mets
Ankle
May 20, 2019
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen said Cespedes (heel) suffered multiple right ankle fractures over the weekend, Tim Britton of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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