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Yoenis Cespedes Named Oakland A’s Starting Center Fielder


Yoenis Cespedes was expected to start the season with the Oakland Athletics.  Based on the terms of his contract and the language Billy Beane and other members of the A’s front office used when discussing their Cuban prospect, the news that Cespedes will break camp with Oakland shouldn’t surprise anyone.  What may surprise you is that not only will Cespedes start his career at the major league level, but he will do so manning center field.

Sure Cespedes was listed as a center fielder when his initial “workout video” debuted.  But, after scouts took a long look at Cespedes and his abilities, many figured the slugger would ultimately end up playing a corner outfield position.

This coupled with the fact that the A’s had already spent $14 million this offseason on a generally well-regarded center fielder, Coco Crisp, made yesterday’s announcement a bit surprising.

After Cespedes’s lackluster debut in the Dominican Winter League, the 26-year-old hasn’t exactly lit the baseball world on fire this spring.  Over his 20 at bats, Cespedes has three hits, including one home run, and two RBI’s to go with three walks and six strikeouts.  That leaves Cespedes with a spring training line of .150/.261/.300.

Still, if the A’s signed Cespedes as a center fielder, why wouldn’t they run him out there immediately to see what his ceiling is?  They can always move him to a corner outfield spot if his range isn’t all that it was cracked up to be, but imagine if they found themselves a 30-plus home run player to man center.  If that’s the case then maybe the label demigod is warranted.

For more on the Athletics, be sure to check out Swingin’ A’s.

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