Yoenis Céspedes, LF
Player Data: Age: 33, B/T: R/R
Primary Stats: 38 G, 157 PA, 9 HR, 29 RBI, 13 BB, 30 K, .262/.325/.496
Advanced Stats: .333 BABIP, 122 wRC+, .345 wOBA, 128 OPS+, 0.9 bWAR, 0.9 fWAR
Free Agency: 2021
2019 Salary: $29 million
There’s not much to talk about here. Yoenis Cespedes played in just 38 games in 2018, another lost season due to injury. While it is was a quadricep injury that initially sidelined the slugger in May, Céspedes revealed that his constant leg injuries were caused by a calcification in his heels that only surgery could fix.
Céspedes got off to a slow start but started to heat up in May before his quad injury. That injury kept him out until July, when he returned for just one game before announcing the lingering heel problem which ended his season. That one game was a memorable one, as Céspedes homered in a win at Yankee Stadium.
Céspedes’ nine home runs in 38 games would’ve put him on pace to set a career-high, had he been able to play a full season. His OPS of .821 was a bit low compared to other seasons, but would have been more than acceptable in a full season (and would have been second-highest on the team).
Cespedes also hit a 463-foot home run in 2018.
Right now, the expectation is that Céspedes will miss a good chunk of the 2019 season as he recovers from his heel surgeries. Though no specific time-table has been given, both Jeff Wilpon and Brodie Van Wagenen have mentioned a likely second half return.
Barring the Mets signing a star outfielder (I wish), his his right-handed power presence will be sorely missed. If his heels really were the cause of his lower-half injuries, he should be able to provide value if healthy. Interesting to note that Cespedes did play some first base during his final rehab assignment of 2018.
As it stands, Céspedes is the Mets’ one true slugger and one of their few right-handed power threats. If he is able to play at all in 2019, it would provide a huge boost for a team that is aiming to contend. Céspedes carried the Mets to the playoffs in 2015. He shouldn’t have to do the same in 2019, but he will still have to consistently produce for them to have a real chance. Unless they sign Bryce Harper.
Céspedes health matters beyond 2019 as well, as he is under contract for another year, for quite a bit of money.