After the viral sensation of Yoenis Cespedes' agent-made highlight video, in which he showed off seven tools and used his tools to make more tools, he went into hiding. Or, rather, he went to the Dominican Republic to establish residency so he could become a free agent. All that had leaked since then was this photo:
Well, that was all that had leaked, UNTIL NOW:
Behold! Yoenis Cespedes hitting a dinger in a Dominican winter league! What can we take from this?
Nothing. Come on, don't be an idiot. All sorts of things, really.
- He's a pull hitter. The pitch creeps out over the plate, but it's to the outside. Cespedes still pulls it by extending his arms. This must mean that he can do this sort of thing in every at-bat.
- He can hit a fastball. The pitch was clocked at 97 m.p.h., but Cespedes still turned it around.
- He is now on the disabled list after being run over by a truck.
If you ever think that those ads behind home plate are obnoxious, remember this one. As soon as he hits the home run, on-screen graphics pop up and obscure the action. Amazing.
- Based on that picture, people are going to accuse me of cherry-picking facts for this article.
- Cespedes likes to watch his home runs. This means your dad doesn't like him already.
- In the related-videos link, there is a video titled Yoenis Cespedes Nature Awakening Home Runs, and it's the above highlight in slow-motion, with interspersed clips of penguins frolicking in the ocean as waves crash around them and the Chariots of Fire theme playing in the background.
- No, really. It's awesome. It sort of renders this whole article useless with its beauty.
But to be completely honest, there isn't anything we can learn in a baseball sense from that video. Cespedes really is the Yeti of baseball. Rumors, blurry pictures, but not a whole lot of science. He should have five tools, just like Bobby Abreu! Or Ruben Rivera! Just like one of those two, unless he's a combination of both.
And someone's going to pay several millions of dollars for the privilege of opening the Price is Right-mystery box. For $60 million dollars, it could be a franchise cornerstone! It could be a complementary player! It could be a new car!
Cespedes has said that the Cubs are the leading suitors, though that could just be him showing off his eleventh tool -- negotiating through the media. Here's a guess at his most-likely destinations, in order of likelihood:
The Nationals are said to be out on Cespedes, but it's hard to trust the team that shocked the baseball world with the Jayson Werth deal. They need a center fielder, and they like splashy moves. I do trust the White Sox and Kenny Williams, but mostly to make crazy, over-the-top moves when no one's looking. If Cespedes is a legit player, he's young enough to be a part of the White Sox' rebuilding efforts, and he'd have a countryman for a teammate with Alexei Ramirez. The Tigers have Austin Jackson in center, but they could think of Cespedes as a long-term corner guy who could help them in the short term as well.
But the race is really between the Cubs and Marlins. The Cubs also fall into the category of teams that might view Cespedes as a long-term project who would be ready to be a star whenever they can cobble together their next good team. And the Marlins, well, they're almost certainly still the front-runners. Their team president said this:
"(The Marlins will be) aggressive right to the point of stupidity (when it comes to signing Cespedes), but not quite there," said Samson.
Aggressive right to the point of stupidity. It's a beautiful quote. They're going to drive the car right up to the edge of stupidity and look over the edge. They might drop a penny or something to see how long it will take to reach the bottom. And then they'll camp there, holding a pink-and-teal sawed-off shotgun, and just daring someone else to rush past them and plummet to their doom.
The Marlins are going to sign Cespedes. I can't stress that enough. It makes way, way, way, way too much sense.
Until someone does sign him, though, and until he gets some at-bats that are on TV in the states, some grainy YouTube videos are all we have on him. He looks like a slugger. He looks like a baseball player. But he's a diamond ring in the open mouth of a jittery crocodile. No one knows what's going to happen without getting aggressive right past the point of stupidity. I'll bet if you're really quick, you can get that ring. Give it a whirl, baseball teams.