5 Detroit Tigers MVP Candidates for 2015

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Sep 12, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) at bat against the Kansas City Royals during the third inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

#1 Yoenis Cespedes

Nothing says excellent season better than contract year. No matter the sport, no matter the athlete, it often seems that players have the best seasons of their professional careers in the final year of their rookie contract.

It is with that in mind that we present Yoenis Cespedes.

The main piece of the Tigers’ blockbuster trade with the Red Sox that sent Porcello to Beantown in exchange for Cespedes, Gabe Spier and Alex Wilson, Cespedes appears chomping at the bit to help his new team, and himself, succeed.

It could be a coincidence that most athletes play better in a contract year. In most cases they are actually hitting the prime of their career. This is definitely the case for the 29-year-old Cespedes who is on the fourth and final year of the deal he signed with the Oakland Athletics prior to the 2012 season as an international free agent out of Cuba.

Cespedes should play to the strengths of Comerica Park and can take extra bases on gappers. There is no reason not to believe he will be able to bat in around 100 runs, as he did while splitting time in Boston and Oakland last year. The Tigers would like to see that .260 batting average increased a bit, but there is no reason it won’t be while he is stabilized and comfortable with one team.

I anticipate the second straight All-Star appearance for Yoenis Cespedes this year and he has the tools and the chance to lead the Tigers in 2015.

Next: What Yoenis Cespedes brings to the table