He’s not an All-Star, but Yoenis Cespedes is still going to live out an All-Star wish.
The A’s outfielder has been named as the final selection by Robinson Cano to compete for the AL side in Monday’s Home Run Derby. Cespedes has previously been vocal about his desire to be among the Derby’s participants. He rounds out the AL side of the competition, which includes captain Cano, Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder and Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. The NL team is comprised of captain David Wright, Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. The rest of the participants were announced on Monday, but Cano, for whatever reason, decided to wait to make his final choice.
Cespedes is having a disappointing sophomore season (he was even dropped to as low as sixth in the lineup recently), hitting just .223. (People outside of the Bay might better know Cespedes as the workout video legend who was supposed to be Yasiel Puig before Yasiel Puig.) But with 15 homers, he’s on pace to surpass last year’s total of 23. However, he’s not even among the top 10 in the AL for home runs.
But we know that’s not the point. We all know Yoenis Cespedes was made for the Home Run Derby.
In case you had forgotten, Cespedes can still hit baseballs really, really, really far. His numbers may be down, but he’s still one of the most dangerous hitters in the game. Cespedes, in less than two years, has already become famous (some argue “legendary“) for putting on an exciting display in batting practice, which is essentially what the Home Run Derby is at its core.
So, in conclusion, when you can hit home runs when the batting donut still on the bat, you better be in the Derby. Baseball fans should rejoice. It should be a show. (Just hope he doesn’t get hurt while taking one of his typically violent hacks.)
Before we close, here’s a Glen Kuiper “baby”-laden highlight reel of some of Cespedes’ jacks: