5 Offensive Difference Makers for 2015 Detroit Tigers
By Matt Pelc
Sep 27, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) hits an RBI single during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
#2: Yoenis Cespedes
A certain segment of Detroit Tigers’ fans were not enamored with the trade that brought Yoenis Cepedes to Detroit for Rick Porcello. Many of these are the more sabermetrically inclined fans who do not view the pending free agent as living up to the hype.
Cespedes effectively moves into the role of Torii Hunter from the last few years. He will unquestionably be an upgrade in the outfield for the aging Hunter, but will he be an upgrade at the plate?
Like Torii, Cespedes is an impatient batter and if you throw anything near the strike zone, he will be hacking away. That led to 128 strikeouts last year. But as batters who strikeout a lot wont to do, he can kill the ball at times. He had 22 homers and 100 RBIs split between Oakland and Boston last year (Torii had 17 and 83 last year).
He should thrive in Comerica Park with his speed that can turn a gaped single to a double and double to a triple.
Do not forget that this is a contract year for Cespedes, and as we saw last year with Victor Martinez (and Max Scherzer on the pitching end), nothing quite motivates a player like a brand new, lucrative contract on the horizon.