Fantasy Baseball Week Nine: What Happened to Yoenis Cespedes?

Brian Blanco

AN contributor Phil Naessens answers a readers question about Yoenis Cespedes and suggests three waiver wire options for you to consider this week

Week number nine of the Fantasy Baseball season is already here and things are starting to look up as Chris Sale, Alex Cobb and Jay Bruce have returned from injury. The big news seems to be the possibility that the Rangers Prince Fielder may wind up having season ending surgery on his neck. Good luck with that contract.....but you aren't here to read about these guys and an effing Ranger are you? I didn't think so.....this came in this week and I thought we would discuss it a bit.

Dear Phil,

Two years ago I picked up Yoenis Cespedes and he was amazing. Last season he didn't live up to his rookie season and this season he's still nowhere near where he was during his rookie season. What happened to him?

Thanks for the question.

I really don't know what you are asking. If you mean why hasn't he equaled or surpassed 2012 there really isn't a 100% tried and true I know what happened answer for you. There are plenty of MLB players who put up great rookie numbers and never reached those numbers again. The ones that do we call super-stars and the ones that go above their rookie numbers we call Hall of Famers. I don't see Hall of Fame when I see Cespedes nor do I really see "super-star".....but he's still pretty darn good.

I'm not much of a sabermetrics guy but his BABIP (Batted balls in play) numbers in 2012 (.326) was pretty outstanding and that's sorta hard for a slugger like Cespedes to duplicate. 2013 saw his BAPIP number go down to .274 and this season thus far he's at .266. That's still pretty darn good if you ask me.

The other thing about Cespedes that I like is his strikeout rate....in 2012 he struck out 18.9% of the time, in 2013 he played go fish and his strikeout rate rose to 23%. This season currently he's striking out 17.8% of the time which is his best total yet. You will also notice that this season his walk rate of 9.4% is far better than the 8% of 2012 and 6.4% in 2013. If you really enjoy sabermetrics than check out his FanGraphs page here.

In short what we have is a kid who had an amazing rookie season, a sophomore season where it appears Cespedes tried to live up to the lofty rookie numbers and struggled, and a third season that thus far appears is a season in where Cespedes is comfortable in his own skin, has become more disciplined at the plate, and one in which if you are lucky enough to either have him on your roster or you are an A's fan, is one you can enjoy watching.

Here are three players off the waiver wire I'm looking to see having really good week nine results.

Sean Doolittle RP Oakland: Its official. Doolittle is, at least for now, the closer for the Oakland A's. It looks like his rocky April is behind him and the guy has settled into the closer role, at least for now that is. 32 strikeouts and just 1 walk over 23 innings means this kid is gonna help you this week and hopefully for the rest of the season. (Stats)

Dallas Kuechel SP Astros: The Astros might not be very good but Kuechel certainly has been thus far this season. 55 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 62.1 innings is awfully good. His ability to last past five innings in every start is even better. Add in his 1.05 WHIP and 2.92 ERA and this guy will be a pretty good addition to a pitching thin roster. (Stats)

David Murphy OF Indians: The Indians are playing halfway decent baseball these days and Murphy is a big reason why. While his slash line of .284/.353/.466/.820 isn't something to write home about he's probably better than some we currently have on our rosters. (Stats)

On this weeks Fantasy Baseball Weekly Viva El Birdos Eric Johnson and I give several options for injured players Jose Abreu and Ben Zobrist, take a look at closers on the hot seat and give out a few waiver wire options for you to consider this week. You can listen below or download the show from my site here.

Good luck this week Fantasy Baseball owner!

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