Friday, January 15, 2016

Would Yoenis Cespedes be a good fit in Baltimore?

With rumors circulating that the Orioles have an interest in Yoenis Cespedes, it's still up for debate whether or not he would be a solid fit for Baltimore.

(Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)

Much like current Orioles' outfielder Adam Jones, Yoenis Cespedes is a guy who can hit home runs, but doesn't offer much more on offense besides his power. Playing his games in the AL East and at least 81 home games at Camden Yards would boost his power totals (on paper anyway), but he'd essentially be replacing Chris Davis and his 47 home runs. It should also be noted that even with a batting average of .262, Davis still reached base at a .361 clip... He's not just a "one outcome" guy like Cespedes. He's constantly getting on base and providing opportunities for his teammates, which is something that Yoenis Cespedes hasn't proven he can consistently do over the course of his career.

There's no denying that Yoenis Cespedes is a talented player, but he doesn't help the Orioles the way he could help a team like the Mets. The Mets feature a lineup full of hitters who can get on base and Cespedes is the one big bat that could drive the runners in... On the Orioles, only one hitter last season (outside of Davis) got on base over 32% of the time. Does it matter if Cespedes hits 30 home runs on a team that can't get people on base? That would make for a lot of solo home runs... The Orioles as a team had a .307 team on-base percentage in 2015 (the Mets featured eight players over .320 OBP). The Mets have an in-house option who could replace most of the production Cespedes provided with Michael Conforto. It's worth noting that in 56 games, Conforto took 17 walks... In 57 games with the Mets, Cespedes took 16 walks... Cespedes was very valuable to the Mets down the stretch, but you could also make the case that Michael Conforto was the "real MVP" for the Mets over the same period.

The Orioles did manage to finish 9th in MLB in runs scored, but finished near last in team walks (418). They also finished 5th in the league in strikeouts... In contrast to teams like the Cubs, who strikeout often, they don't walk enough enough to counter the strikeouts and wasted outs. If you need proof, the Orioles hit 217 team home runs last season, which placed them at 3rd in all of MLB. However, they only scored 713 runs. The Toronto Blue Jays on the other hand, hit 15 more home runs (232) and led MLB in runs scored (891.) The difference? The Blue Jays got on base at an incredible .340 clip (as a team.) There's no denying that home runs are valuable, but while the Orioles are sending warning shots, teams like the Blue Jays are essentially pulverizing other teams with their power and on-base skills.

Would a player like Yoenis Cespedes help this offense? I'm included to think he wouldn't. He would essentially be Adam Jones 2.0 and I just don't see him making a big enough impact to warrant his asking price.