It has been a disappointing start to 2013 for Yoenis Cespedes, hitting .211 with 8 HR and 21 RBI. It’s safe to say that he’s better than that, especially given his .209 BABIP, but just making a blanket statement would be a little bit hasty. Lets dive into the numbers and see how things look and if a rebound is a certainty.
Part if the problem may be that he’s been not only swinging for the fences this season, but popping the ball up at an alarming rate. According to Fangraphs, through Sunday he is the owners of a 54.3% overall flyball rate and 19.6% infield fly ball rate. Last season he was at 39.9% and 14.8%, respectively. Couple that increase with his 13.8% line drive rate and it is not surprising that his BABIP is well below average.
Before we hit the panic button, the numbers have been significantly better in May. His line drive rate is 20.4% and his infield fly ball rate is down to 11.1%. We would expect significantly better numbers in regards to his BABIP, yet it is sitting at .180 for the month.
He coud be trying to swing for the fences (54.3% overall fly ball rate), but that’s hardly enough to justify his number. One point for a big-time bounce back on the horizon.
The other major concern would be his strikeout rate. Overall it is at 22.9%, up from 18.9% in 2012. Considering his ability to make consistent contact was one of the big questions hanging over him last season, this should be a major concern.
However, like with his other numbers he has shown a dramatic improvement in May. Thus far he owns a 17.6% mark, a number that we would all love to see from him.
Make that two points for a Cespedes rebound.
Sure, we can point to a decreased walk rate in May, as well as him being 0-3 in stolen base attempts, but those two things hardly outweigh the positives. If someone in your league has grown frustrated, do not hesitate to acquire him. There should be significantly better days ahead.
What are your thoughts of Cespedes? Do you think a rebound is coming? Why or why not?