Does Yo Know? This question is being asked by many Oakland Athletics fans.
Last season Yoenis Cespedes proved to be a boost to the A’s lineup as was shown in his 3.7 wins above replacement (WAR), according to Baseball Reference, and the team’s win-loss record with Cespedes in the lineup (82-47) and not in the lineup (12-21). This season, Cespedes has a WAR of only 0.8, however, the Athletics record with him (51-30) is still significantly better than without (8-12).
It’s safe to say that just seeing Cespedes on the lineup card possibly provides a boost to the team even if his numbers aren’t backing that notion up.
Cespedes’ numbers so far through the 2013 season (.227/.294/.422) are miniscule compared to his 2012 numbers (.292/.356/.505) so it’s safe to say, so far, a sophomore slump has definitely affected the 27-year-old.
One of the biggest issues Cespedes has had at the plate is his strikeouts. His strikeout percentage in 129 games in 2012 was 18.9%, but so far, in his 80 games played in 2013 that has jumped up to 23.1%. Aside from that, his stolen base numbers are also worrisome. Last season he stole 16 bases while being thrown out four times. So far this season, Cespedes has only swiped five bases while being caught stealing six times.
On the positive side, his home run (HR) and runs batted in (RBI) numbers this season – through July 24 – (15 HRs and 43 RBIs) are almost identical to those of last season (14 and 48).
In almost 200 at bats before the all-star break last season Cespedes had a batting average of .263; this season he went into the break batting a mere .225 in over 300 at bats.
Fans shouldn’t start screaming for Cespedes’ head just yet; after all, in 2012 he boasted a .311 average post all-star break. So far this season Cespedes hasn’t really had a hot-streak, so if he can get into a groove and have a solid August and September, there’s no reason why he can’t finish with an average close to last year’s. And if he can stay healthy, there isn’t any reason why the team should decline during the second half of the season.