Holy crap, look at that play!
That's what I said earlier this week when I saw Yoenis Cespedes do a fly/jump/catch/wall avoid in a single bound, showing in a single play why he was so highly sought over the off-season.
Cespedes, 26, is already showing that the Oakland Athletics made an expensive but correct choice to bring him in. While he's still in his first go-round in the league, he's hitting .275/.338/.489 with thirty-six hits, eight doubles, one triple, six home runs, ten walks, and thirty-two strikeouts.
That said, a closer look at the numbers shows that despite a nice batting line and the sweet video above, Cespedes is actually at-or-below replacement level so far. While his bat has him earning more than one win above replacement offensively, his defense (awesome play above notwithstanding) is really dragging down his value -- and is actually a bigger cost than his bat is a benefit. Baseball Reference has him in the negatives on the year (-0.3), with his offense at +1.1 and his defense at -1.2.
Still, it is a young season (a regular way of saying "small sample size!) and Cespedes has time to improve his defensive numbers, and assuming his offense doesn't regress much, he has a real chance of showing significant value in his very first season in the Majors.
The question, as it is in all evaluations, is whether his production is or will be worth the contract that A's gave him. At just four years and $36 million (compared to Adam Jones new contract of 6 years/$85.5M), he has fantastic chance to see his value realized.