Yoenis Cespedes will always have an odd legacy within Mets history. The four-year deal he signed following the 2016 season was a complete disaster. However, he’s also heralded for being one of the main forces behind New York’s back-to-back postseason runs in 2015 and 2016.
He accumulated 792 plate appearances from August 1, 2015 to October 1, 2016. During that time, he slashed .282/.348/.554 with 48 home runs, 39 doubles, 130 RBI, and 111 runs scored. That all sussed out to a 142 wRC+. Cespedes was still productive when on the field between 2017 and 2020, evidenced by his .274/.336/.516 line.
It just didn’t happen often — La Potencia only suited up for 127 games during this span. That was thanks to many things, including a wild boar. His 2020 season lasted just a week, posting a 70 wRC+ and -0.2 fWAR in 34 plate appearances. That was disappointing after the game-winning home run he hit on a much-delayed Opening Day.
The last we heard about Cespedes on a baseball field was when he held a showcase in March 2021 with the intention of catching on with a big-league club. That didn’t happen, and it didn’t happen in 2022, either. Now 37 years old, Cespy has resurfaced in the Dominican Winter League.
He’s playing for Aguilas Cibaenas and put together a monster performance on Wednesday. Here’s the home run he hit:
Primer cuadrangular de la temporada para Yoenis Céspedes pic.twitter.com/UdANx3Ruf2
— Águilas Cibaeñas (@aguilascibaenas) October 20, 2022
This was part of a 4-for-4 day at the dish, which also included three RBI. As we can see here, Cespedes still knows how to launch baseballs very far and in an impressive manner. Can he get another shot in the big leagues, though? This is probably his last chance since the Universal Designated Hitter has been implemented across baseball.
That big night is clearly powering his current stats. Through his first 16 plate appearances, he’s slashing .400/.438/.733 with half of his six hits going for extra bases (one homer, two doubles).
Cespedes’ 2021 showcase clearly didn’t entice teams enough to take a chance on him. It’s probably because his raw ability and athleticism aren’t a question. It’s his durability. He’s now in his late 30s and has played just eight games since 2018.
So, if he really wants teams to take him seriously, he needs to stay on the field for a prolonged period of time. And at the very least, that needs to happen as a designated hitter. This potential last chance of getting another summer under the sun in big-league ballparks is at least off to a good start.