Commentary

Projecting Yoenis Cespedes

The Cuban outfielder appears to have a bright future in the majors

Updated: February 13, 2012, 12:41 PM ET
By Dan Szymborski | Baseball Think Factory
Yoennis Cespedes AP Photo/Denis PoroyCespedes' scouting video created a lot of hype. Can he live up to it?

This story originally ran on Nov. 30, but we are linking to it again in light of the report that Yoenis Cespedes has agreed to terms with the Oakland A's.

A free-agent market rather thin on outfielders gets a little more exciting soon, with Cuban star Yoenis Cespedes entering the mix once he's approved for temporary residency in the Dominican Republic. With Grady Sizemore's return to Cleveland, Coco Crisp becomes by far the best center fielder available, so it's not surprising that most teams have sent scouts to check on Cespedes.

Evaluating a player from Cuba provides a unique set of challenges that aren't present when scouting other international prospects. Observing workouts isn't the ideal scouting situation. And as awesome as the official Yoenis Cespedes video is -- featuring a "Star Wars" opening and a montage set to "Sailing" by Christopher Cross -- it's a thin foundation on which to give an eight-figure contract.

As such, the stats become even more important than usual as they provide the main source of objective information about Cespedes.