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  1. Cespedes played CF early in the year then they moved him to left after the hand injury. IMO, he looked better in CF right before the hand injury. He’s not a natural LF, so he looks pretty bad out there right now. Poor routes, etc. He’s played CF the last week with Coco Crisp out and he’s been just fine. Just needs time to adjust to playing CF in the Coliseum and in other AL parks.

    Comment by cuppingmaster — August 2, 2012 @ 11:33 am

  2. Agreed. Especially since he took over for Coco, Cespedes has shown a lot of range in CF. His LF play, on the other hand, was pretty uninspiring. Earlier in the year it didn’t look like he was getting very good reads on the ball. Now that he has had time to adjust to playing at O.co and around the league, he looks like he’s getting better jumps.

    Cespedes doesn’t have the typical build of a centerfielder; he looks more like he belongs in the NFL as a running back. Still, Jim Edmonds didn’t either, and he turned out to be pretty awesome.

    Comment by VORP is too nerdy — August 2, 2012 @ 11:53 am

  3. lol @ Hinske and Posednik.

    Comment by Danny — August 2, 2012 @ 11:54 am

  4. Good to know! Thanks for the report.

    I’ve watched him as much as I can, but it only amounts to maybe a dozen games, and only one in person — all told, that’s like, what?, 15 to 20 putouts?

    Range, I would say, is not his friend, but he’s not Adam Dunn in center field like UZR says, so it seems to me.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — August 2, 2012 @ 11:56 am

  5. Yeah, he needs to stay in one specific position. Either put him in CF and leave him there or put him in LF and leave him there.

    Comment by BX — August 2, 2012 @ 11:58 am

  6. He’s actually got pretty ridiculous range…I’d assume the poor UZR rating is mostly from poor routes. He definitely needs to stay in center, though; he’s a train wreck in left. Has no idea where the ball is going, so he takes horrible routes in LF.

    Comment by CaliforniaJag — August 2, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

  7. It didn’t highlight the link, but “pretty ridiculous range” is a link to this play:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=23425181

    Comment by CaliforniaJag — August 2, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

  8. Oh wow.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — August 2, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

  9. I honestly don’t get why the A’s haven’t just told Coco Crisp to eat it and play LF. Don’t get me wrong, Crisp is a fantastic defensive CF, but he’ll eventually not be on the A’s. Cespedes needs to get used to MLB CF now if that’s where he’ll be in 2013 or 2014.

    Comment by cuppingmaster — August 2, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

  10. Cespedes is James Loney v2.0???

    Also, why use wRC prorated to 600PA? Why not just use wRC+?

    Comment by Anon — August 2, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

  11. Unless they think its going to save runs and win baseball games now, during a surprise wildcard contention year.

    Comment by BX — August 2, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  12. (it meaning Coco in CF)

    Comment by BX — August 2, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  13. wRC is a counting stat — akin to RBI — whereas wRC+ is a rate. Honestly, we could use either, but wRC tells how good for how long, while wRC+ just tells us how good.

    Comment by Bradley Woodrum — August 2, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

  14. wRC+ isn’t a rate stat and it doesn’t accumulate. It’s a comparative stat. The ROTY award is given by accumulation and rate combined.

    Comment by Casey McLain — August 2, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

  15. To continue with this comparison: history provides us with an NFL running back in the OF (Bo Jackson) that showed a somewhat similar profile, i.e. high ISO, low BB%, high K%, ridiculously effort-filled swings and speed/range. Cespedes may not have the cultural impact what with his lack of monday night football appearances, but his current line (if sustainable) is probably even better. His avg/obp/slg are all currently higher than any of Bo’s career highs, and his K% is about 2/3 of Bo’s (~20% vs. ~30%).

    Comment by George — August 2, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

  16. Given Cespedes’ success, one would think that all 30 teams will be quite interested in pursuing any successful veteran Cuban Leaguers who become available this offseason.

    Comment by Robbie G. — August 2, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

  17. I know the differences between counting and rate stats.

    I was asking about the use of wRC/PA*600. Prorating wRC to 600 PA changes the stat from counting to rate. With wRC+ already existing as a rate stat for wRC, what is the benefit of prorating wRC instead of using wRC+? Doesn’t wRC+ have other adjustments as well that make it better for comparing different leagues and years?

    Comment by Anon — August 2, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

  18. wRC/PA doesn’t accumulate either.

    Comment by Anon — August 2, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

  19. Also, wRC+ is a comparative rate stat. If a player has 1 PA and hits a HR, his wRC compared to the league will be tiny, but his wRC+ will be amazing.

    Comment by Anon — August 2, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

  20. As an A’s fan I can attest to his range being fine for CF. As stated earlier, the speed and raw ability is there and he will only get better as he receives more coaching. And addressing his high BABIP, for most players this is a sign of getting lucky but if you watch even Cespedes’ singles, you can see there is a reason for this; he hits the ball HARD. Probably 75-85% of his singles are blistering line drives and grounders that may be fielded if hit by a player who doesn’t swing as hard and have as much brute strength as Yoenis.

    Comment by Matt R — August 2, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

  21. bad routes. his range ratings were poor even before he moved to LF.

    Comment by brendan — August 2, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

  22. Cespedes’ excuse for his poor reads was that he’s never played in a stadium with multiple tiers, and he has had trouble reading the ball because he’s used to it hitting sky much earlier. That might be a cop out somewhat; your first read is off the bat, and I assume there are screaming fans behind home plate whether you play in Cuba or the United States (probably more, considering it costs less than twenty-five cents to see a game in Cuba). As far as the LF v CF debate, the people posting here are treating the A’s like the Yankees/Rangers/Dodgers. A’s players rarely get to play their natural position. The other left-field options are not great, considering Seth Smith’s extreme lefty-righty split and Gomes’ poor defense (and bad knees). Anybody seriously talking about Crisp playing left forget 1) he’s a veteran signed for a lot of money (for the A’s at least); 2) he’s whiny about playing left and 3) he has a noodle arm. To get value for what is about 13% of their payroll, to make him happy, and to keep runners honest Crisp playing center when he plays is the best fit for the A’s until and if they can get someone to eat a portion of his salary.

    Comment by John Smith — August 2, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

  23. As an A’s fan who watches nearly every game, here’s my two cents:
    -To repeat what Cup said above, Cespedes is way more comfortable in CF than the corners. He has looked completely lost in LF recently, but in the last few days while filling in for Crisp he’s shown the ability to cover a lot of ground. I think A’s fans are very split on whether or not he’ll be able to stay in the OF, but I believe he can stay there, he’s too good of an athlete to be relegated to DH.
    -On that note, his speed is underrated. The guy could probably run something like a 4.5-4.6 40. He also runs the bases like a beast, he’s incredibly well skilled in that area. Hopefully that speed will translate to the OF as he gets more comfortable in new stadiums.
    -As others said above, he seems to be the kind of hitter who will be able to maintain a high BABIP. He hits the ball incredibly hard. When he hits groundballs they shoot through the OF. And he’s not a pull hitter so teams won’t be able to play shifts on him either.
    -All in all, he’s one of the most entertaining baseball players I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching play.

    Comment by Stranahanahan — August 2, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

  24. He didn’t even look like he was running flat out there. Wow is right.

    Comment by y — August 2, 2012 @ 8:12 pm

  25. Trout should be a shoo-in for not only ROY, but MVP as well. Someone said he’d be a perennial 40-40 guy, but his ceiling might be 50-80. He’s like Rickey & Wille in a blender, he’s ridiculously great at all facets of baseball. Cespedes is a scary monster at the plate, with a fearful swing that hasn’t been seen since Gary Sheffield in his prime.

    What I don’t get about Oakland is that Cespedes is terrible at LF but excellent in CF, and Crisp is excellent in CF and excellent in LF. Crisp whined and pouted and hit like a 3rd grader when they started him in LF, but he’s actually been raking lately so maybe they should try to switch them again.

    Comment by PL — August 2, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

  26. DH’s do not sprint 70 yards to make a catch like Cespy did the other night.

    He’s a CF, and only a CF. DHing him was only done because of his hamstring injury, and you want to play it safe with those.

    Comment by PL — August 2, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

  27. Are you really accusing a guy who moved to America 4 months ago of “copping out” on, well….anything? lol

    Comment by PL — August 2, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

  28. Lol @ 50/80

    Comment by majnun — August 2, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

  29. 50-80 is impossible. If you hit 50 homeruns, you will not be on first base nearly often enough to steal 80 bases.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — August 2, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

  30. I thought Trout was good enough to steal first base??

    Comment by Dustin — August 3, 2012 @ 8:52 am

  31. Realistically, I agree with you. But let’s do a little math.

    Arod, 1996, his first full season. .358 avg, 124 1B, 54 2B, 1 3B, 36 HR, 59 BB, and 15 SB (4 CS). 215 total hits, 237 chances on 1B or 2B, 51 HR+SB. Relevant info: that’s an 8% attempt rate, 6.3% success rate for stolen base opportunities.

    Trout, this year to date. .347 avg, 73 1B, 21 2B, 5 3B, 18 HR, 36 BB, and 33 SB (3 CS). 117 total hits, 130 chances on 1B or 2B. That’s a 27.7% attempt rate, 25.4% success rate for stolen base opportunities.

    Now, let’s use Arod’s most productive combined HR+SB season, 1998: .310 avg, 131 1B, 35 2B, 5 3B, 42 HR, 45 BB, 46 SB (13 CS), 213 Hits, 211 chances on 1B or 2B, 88 HR+SB. That’s good for a 28% attempt rate, 21.8% success rate for stolen base opportunities, and a 40-40 year.

    For Mike Trout to hit 80 SB in a season, assuming the 210 opportunities from Arod’s 40-40 year, he’ll need to increase his success rate to 38.1%. We’ll gift Trout with the extra AVG to bring that HR total up to 50 without decreasing his SB opportunities.

    A little comparative reference, in his entire career, no less a base stealer than Ricky Henderson only had 4 years where he was that successful at stealing bases. In one of those years, he hit 28 HR, with 87 SB. In his first partial year, in 89 games he stole 33 bases. Mike Trout has 33 SB now with 83 games played this year.

    So, 50-80 is unreasonably far fetched… but not impossible.

    Comment by Jason — August 3, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

  32. Any talk of Cespedes being a DH only right now is ludicrous. He is awesome in CF, and as I read earlier in a comment “uninspiring” in LF.
    I’ve seen every A’s game this year. He could play Football by his build and watching him play is a lot of fun. His swing is vicious and he’s making contact at higher rates as the season goes. As of yesterday he had the highest batting average in the AL after the all-star game.
    I also read in a comment earlier about his singles being hit HARD. So true. Players dive at the ball and it’s already by them.
    Back to his fielding..when he play’s center, I have seen him make all the right reads and some fine catches. He hasn’t misplayed anything. Not so in left.
    I hope he stays with the team the length of the contract and beyond as he, barring injury, is gonna be a fine player for years to come.

    Comment by Crash Jones — August 3, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  33. MLB players/veterans do still lose the ball in the lights and even in the white colors in the crowd, as evident by some complaints about the white towels being waved by fans.

    In HS we got to play at Busch Stadium, and on the middle decks there were “white dots” (reflections) from the sun on each one. After I pitched I went to RF … and prayed no one would hit it out there.

    My guess are the balls he has difficult picking up are the lower height fly balls. More distractions and less time to read it.

    Of course, MLB rookies are coming to very large stadiums from small ballparks as well, so it may not be that big of a reason.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — August 3, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

  34. The last time I saw the number 50/80, people were talking about a young Eric Davis.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — August 3, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

  35. Simple question, to all that wish to answer. Do you think a 350BABIP is for real?

    Comment by BASEBALLFAN — August 3, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

  36. I did see him get two infield singles the other day. He hit the ball hard to the 3b/SS and just hustled his way to first barely beating throws both times. With them playing back because of his power, 20 of those a season should help substane a higher babip ala Ichiro.

    Comment by Scott — August 3, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

  37. 2 more infield singes tonight. Then ? injury after trying to steal 3rd after stealing second.

    Comment by Scott — August 4, 2012 @ 12:56 am

  38. God, Eric Davis was so good in 1987.

    Comment by Robbie G. — August 4, 2012 @ 2:41 am

  39. If Bo had committed to baseball full time, his K rate would have probably been lower and he would have likely switch hit.

    Comment by AA — September 12, 2012 @ 4:36 am

  40. James Loney was awesome in 2007. And only 2007.

    Comment by AA — September 12, 2012 @ 4:36 am

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