The Oakland Athletics had an unforgettable season in 2012 which included the club’s first postseason appearance in seven seasons. Yoenis Cespedes also made the Athletics look like pure geniuses as the rookie had one of the best seasons of any A’s outfielder in MLB history.
There was plenty of flack surrounding the four-year $36M deal that the club gave Cespedes last winter as many thought the slugger could not handle professional pitching. Those notions were thrown to the wind once the season began as he clubbed 23 home runs and drove in 82 runs in 2012. With the 27-year-old entering his sophomore season I have every expectation that he will continue to punish American league pitching.
Cespedes appeared comfortable in the box from the beginning as hit five home runs in his first month in the league. However, his success did not stop there as he hit .311 in the second half of last season. Although it might sound like too high praise in just his sophomore year I believe Cespedes can make a run at the MVP trophy in 2013.
Taking a look at the Athletics roster it appears they will be sticking with the same bats that got them to the ALDS with Josh Reddick and Coco Crisp returning in 2013. With the Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers making all of the noise this offseason the Athletics have flown under-the-radar as people tend to forget who actually won the AL West last season.
Even more encouraging is that Cespedes played so well in five postseason games last year–he hit .316 versus the Detroit Tigers with two stolen bases and two walks.