Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Can you imagine if the Tigers did sign Yoenis Cespedes?

For all the hype surrounding defecting Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, the one question that hasn't gotten answered is what type of impact he will have immediately.
Will he step into the major leagues and star right away? Or will it take him awhile to adjust to major league pitching? Or will he become one of those "great athletes, but can't hit big league pitching" stories?
There is uncertainty about it from both Cespedes' supporters and detractors. Anybody who thinks they "know" is fooling themselves. It's the ultimate "best guess" scenario.
And that, right there, defines a gamble.
I have a sense signing Cespedes would only further cloud an already murky situation in regard to how the Tigers fit together. Cespedes isn't going to hit leadoff. It's doubtful he is a better fielder than Austin Jackson. And he's older than Jackson, who is still developing. The Tigers have committed to Delmon Young for this season. Brennan Boesch is the right fielder. There are plenty of DH candidates. Honestly, the puzzle fits best with either Prince Fielder or Miguel Cabrera at DH.
The unknown is the intriguing part. There are plenty of baseball people who feel Cespedes will immediately star. That his tools are superior. That he will hit for tremendous power even against major league pitching. That he is, well, Bo Jackson.
If the Tigers are going for it, he could very well be the final piece to a puzzle that would, indeed, put them far above every other club.
We've already seen the gambling nature of owner Mike Ilitch when it comes to "names." Would he roll the dice on Cespedes?
Is Scott Boras his agent?


Anonymous woody said...

it seems to me that most clubs would view 2012 as a season of adjustment for Cespedes with expectation that he would be a full time contributor in 2013. if he's ready sooner, it'd be a bonus. that timeframe fits the Tigers in LF with Young approaching free agency.

isn't one of the difficulties of scouting trying to project what a 18 year old will become at age 25? at Cespedes age, there shouldn't be much uncertainty as to what he will become. as you mentioned, the lingering uncertainty is whether he can hit major league pitching. in Cespedes' case, all an organization can do is trust their best talent evaluators, make a judgment with limited info, and bid accordingly.

11:32 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book, the holes in the Tigers need to be filled first - and Cespedes don't fit those holes - unless he can play second or pitch at the end of the rotation.

Now, if you want to dress both Inge and Cespedes wearing number 15 - and field Inge and bat Cespedes (if he can hit big league pitching) - then he fits - but I think somebody might notice.

Who knows where the Cuban will wind up - just not in Detroit - not right now.

12:16 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

To me, it seems like too much of a risk for the money. They may look at it otherwise - and be right.

4:57 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I agree from the standpoint it would confuse the lineup situation even more, the cost is a ton and there is little guarantee it would play off. He is intriguing, though, I have to admit.

4:58 PM 

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