Now that the 2017 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a look back at the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the active roster for the Mets at the end of season from A (Nori Aoki) to W (David Wright). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue our series today with a look at outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
Player Review: Yoenis Cespedes
Stats: 81 Games, 291 At Bats, 85 Hits, 17 Doubles, 2 Triples, 17 Home Runs, 42 RBI’s, 46 Runs Scored, .292 Batting Average, .892 OPS
Story: After signing on the dotted line over the winter, Yoenis Cespedes was prepared to be the anchor of the Mets’ lineup once again. Cespedes got off to a roaring start, ripping six homers in his first 78 at bats, but everything went downhill in late April. In the middle innings of a loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, Cespedes suffered a hamstring injury. Instead of placing Cespedes on the disabled list, the Mets held him out of a weekend series with the Washington Nationals before putting him back in the lineup. Cespedes’ return lasted six at bats before he hurt the hamstring again legging out a double, and this time the injury kept him out of the lineup for six weeks.
The Mets’ lineup managed to score a decent amount of runs without Cespedes, but their won-loss record sagged without their most dynamic hitter. Cespedes returned from the DL on June 10th in style, launching a grand slam to help the Mets pick up a win over the Braves. That slam would send Cespedes onto a hot streak for the rest of the month, but he experienced a bizarre power outage, going a full month without homering (from June 24th to July 24th). Cespedes finally got going again and was hitting well before the injury bug struck again in late August. In a meaningless game with the Nationals on August 25th Cespedes injured his other hamstring running the bases. With a six week time table for recovery and only five weeks of games left, the Mets shut their star down for the rest of the year at that point.
Cespedes was extremely productive when he was on the field, but the problem is that he missed half the season with leg injuries. The Mets simply couldn’t overcome having their highest paid player spend weeks at a time on the shelf.
Contract Status: Signed Through 2020
Odds of Returning: 100%
2018 Role: Starting Left Fielder
Cespedes will be back next season and will be counted on to produce in a lineup that needs his power desperately. Health will be a big key for Cespedes, who has vowed to change his training routine this winter to focus more on running and flexibility instead of pure muscle mass in his legs. That change should help Cespedes avoid the nagging muscle pulls that have plagued him for the better part of two years, allowing him to stay on the field and hit.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at outfielder Michael Conforto!