The Mets worked their magic again by signing outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year deal on Tuesday. What is his fantasy value in the Big Apple in 2017?
The New York Mets do it again.
After weeks of speculation, the team announced that they signed outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year deal. The Mets were the favorite to sign him, but they had some competition. With Cespedes locked in for four years, we won’t have to go through this again.
Now that he’s back, what can we expect from him for the 2017 season?
Cespedes posted great numbers in some aspects, but was a letdown in others. He hit 31 home runs and 86 RBI, which led the team in both categories, and a .280/.354/.530 line. The downside was that he only played in 132 games. He could have matched his 2015 total of 35 homers and reached 100 RBI.
He missed 14 games in August, and struggled a bit when he returned. From Aug. 19 to the end of the season, 38 games, he hit .259 with nine home runs and 27 RBI. Though, without his performance, who knows what the Mets offense would look like.
Cespedes improved a lot at the plate last season, too. His walk rate went up five percent while his strikeout rate dropped one percent. His ground ball and fly ball rates flipped between 2015 and 2016, 41.7/37.9 and 37.1/41.4, respectively. He also saw a 3.5 percent increase in his hard-hit rate, 35.8 to 39.3.
Cespedes is also a good defender, .981 fielding percentage last season. He played better as the center fielder than in left field. He had a .992 Fld% as a center fielder. That bodes well for the Mets pitching staff.
The bond between the Mets front office, fans and Cespedes began after the 2015 season. He played 57 games in the second half and hit 17 homers, 44 RBI and a .287 average.
While he didn’t perform to his 2015 level, Cespedes was still pretty good. He had a better eye on the ball and made better contact throughout the season. Due to the missed time, he finished No. 99 on the Player Rater.
Cespedes ranks inside my top 20 among outfielders and inside my top-50 overall players. Citi Field doesn’t seem to have an affect on him and fantasy owners should be happy he’s back.