Detroit Tigers 5 Offensive Questions

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Mar 30, 2015; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the fourth inning of the spring training game against the Atlanta Braves at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

#1: Will there be a Yoenis Cespedes factor?

Fans seem split on Yoenis Cespedes. While they figure he will be a tremendous upgrade in the outfield over Torii Hunter (though they play separate corner outfield positions) they are not so sure offensively.

The more sabermetrically-inclined fans point to his steady average and OPS decline.

Nonetheless, 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 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.

Cespesdes seems ready to help his new team and figures to be tutored by some of the best in the clubhouse such as Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.

If  Yoenis Cespedes is motivated, there is no reason he cannot come close to the .292 average and .861 OPS that he sported in his rookie year and there is no question he will hit around 25 homers this year because, while his other numbers have diminished, his power has remained steady.

He appeared motivated on Monday. Bringing back a homer in left field, using his speed to notch a double and triple and performing a perfect tag up to score on a tricky sacrifice fly.

Bottom line, this guy is going to be entertaining to watch this season.

Next: MCB Tiger Talk: Opening Day Victors