SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 23: Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the New York Mets hits a two run home run against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on June 23, 2017 in San Francisco, California.
(Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

Yoenis Cespedes is dripping with confidence this winter. The forgotten New York Mets star is predicting a career year for himself.

Yoenis Cespedes is planning to have a big season after missing all of 2019 and the majority of 2018. The New York Mets outfielder told ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez that he’s going to hit more than 40 home runs, at the very least. Perez later retold this story on MLB Network Radio.

It’s worth noting that Perez was one of the final candidates during the recent managerial search in Flushing.

“I had spoken to Yoenis and he’s hungry,” Perez said.

“If you do add Yoenis Cespedes, a guy that verbally told me, ‘I’m ready and I’m going to go out with a bang this year. I’m not just going to hit 40 home runs.’ I said that means you’re going to be out there for 140-plus games… Verbally, he told me that he could hit 52—his number.”

Fifty-two home runs would be a ridiculous number to hit after missing so much time. Cespedes has never hit more than 35 in a season and he’s only played more than 140 games twice in his career.

Recently, Cespedes and the Mets amended his contract to make it incentive-based. Reports indicated that the injury he sustained on his ranch was a factor in the restructuring of his deal.

Although Cespedes has struggled to stay on the field during his tenure in New York, when he plays, he’s fantastic. In 308 games with the Mets, Cespedes has 74 home runs, 201 RBIs, and a slash line of .282/.346/.543.

Simply put, the Cuban slugger can be a dominant force in the middle of the lineup when he’s healthy. Should Cespedes have a bounce-back season, he’ll join an already loaded lineup with guys like Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil for the first time in his career.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.