Mets360 2018 projections: Yoenis Cespedes

Somehow, someway Yoenis Cespedes has been flying under the radar. You hear about guys returning from injury and the focus is on the pitching staff. If it does turn to a hitter, it’s more likely to be about Michael Conforto than it is Cespedes. Perhaps that’s because Conforto’s return is unknown while Cespedes is in camp ready to go. But as important as he is to the team’s offense, it’s still odd. When the attention is on an offensive player, it seems to be about one of the free agents they signed.

Of course, Cespedes has helped himself out in that regard. He didn’t show up to camp on a horse or in a different expensive sports car each day. He’s not doing things to draw attention to himself. What he is doing is the work to make himself into a ballplayer and not a weightlifter. He’s doing yoga and running instead of maxing out in the weight room. If he starts drinking water or Gatorade, it will be about perfect.

Here’s what our panel thinks he will do this year:

Dalton Allison 530 .282 .342 .560 30 102 10
Joe Barbieri 582 .279 .359 .530 29 97 12
John Fox 588 .287 .349 .526 30 98 9
David Groveman 507 .287 .356 .553 34 93 11
Charlie Hangley 538 .289 .341 .599 34 102 10
Brian Joura 543 .285 .350 .550 32 96 10
Mike Koehler 500 .285 .345 .510 25 90 6
Matt Netter 575 .294 .342 .545 33 94 11
Jim O’Malley 575 .288 .341 .534 31 102 14
Rob Rogan 620 .290 .340 .520 36 101 10
Mike Walczak 540 .272 .336 .528 32 95 11

The good news is that we all see him topping 500 PA, a welcome sight after the 321 PA he posted last year. We see a rather tight range of outcomes for him in most categories. The biggest exception is the .599 slugging mark predicted by Charlie, which is 39 points higher than the next closest forecast. But Cespedes is an established commodity and if we agree on playing time, it’s not a shock that the rest falls into place.

Even the wild card category saw a lot of agreement. Cespedes has a gun for an arm and isn’t afraid to show it off when given a chance. But he wasn’t always accurate last year and it’s not like the word isn’t out. Runners are not quick to challenge him. Nine of our 11 respondents had a total between nine and 12 assists, with an outlier in both directions. Even then, it wasn’t a huge number, as the bear went six and the bull went 14.

Here’s our official forecast:

2017 2018
321 PA 554
.292 AVG .287
.352 OBP .342
.540 SLG .534
17 HR 31
42 RBIs 97
6 Assists 10

This projection feels right, assuming the leg injuries don’t crop up again. But, is there a strong enough reason to think that at age 32, Cespedes will shake off those injuries once and for all? This seems like the appropriate time to consult the non-biased computer models.

Marcel 415 .278 .339 .521 22 60
Mets360 554 .287 .342 .534 31 97
Steamer 559 .270 .332 .509 30 85
ZiPS 500 .268 .322 .502 25 78

It’s no surprise that Marcel has the least amount of playing time. But it’s somewhat encouraging that the other two both have Cespedes with a PA total in the 500s, with Steamer even having a few more than our group forecast. While Steamer sees him healthier than ZiPS, both of those systems are in close agreement on what to expect and it’s a step-and-a-half below our forecast in the triple slash line. But my opinion is that if he gets the playing time that his actual output will be closer to our forecast.

Check back Wednesday for our next entry in the projection series.

4 comments for “Mets360 2018 projections: Yoenis Cespedes

  1. b
    February 25, 2018 at 10:01 am

    no yo is more important then conforto

  2. Pete in Iowa
    February 25, 2018 at 11:30 am

    I can’t wait to see how Callaway holds Cespedes “accountable” for his turning his doubles into singles (but not running), opponents outs into singles, singles into doubles and doubles into triples (by lollygagging after balls) and other generally asleep play. It’s too bad because Cespedes could truly have a chance to be the MVP he professes he wants to be if he only played the game with hustle and smarts. Maybe some true accountibllty will help in this regard.
    Good to see Callaway bench Smith as it was well earned by the youngster. But it was also an easy call. How he handles Cespedes will really tell the tale.

    • Chris F
      February 26, 2018 at 10:21 am

      As we saw in the 2015 WS on the first batter…an out into a inside the park HR…

      However, lets give Ces props for what looks like a new direction. Hydration, giving up golf, yoga, low-profile…all say there may just be a baseball player in there. Im rooting for it. That HR yesterday was a sight to behold.

  3. Metsense
    February 26, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Cespedes must have a dominant, healthy year for the Mets to compete for a playoff spot. This is especially true since Conforto will be out at the beginning of the year. 550 at bats and 132 games is a reasonable projection but it is not enough time on the field to get the Mets into the playoffs. Cespedes needs to have a Rob Rogan projection in order to do that.

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