Can't deny Yoenis Cespedes' upside 

February, 13, 2012

The Oakland Athletics surprised everyone by signing Yoenis Cespedes to a reported four-year, $36 million deal when they hadn't been publicly linked to the Cuban outfielder before the news leaked out Monday morning. For their investment, they're getting a tooled-up hitter in his prime years by age but whose inexperience has led to some questions about how soon he'll have an impact.

Just grading out Cespedes on tools, he looks like a monster. His chiseled body wouldn't look out of place in an NFL backfield, but he isn't so jacked up that he's unable to move well. He'll show plus-plus raw power, and on a straight track, he's about a 65 runner (on the 20-80 scouting scale), although it'll play below that when running the bases. He's probably too big for center but should have plus range in right and has plenty of arm for it. His bat path isn't great, but he does have tremendous bat speed with a pull-oriented approach that, when he squares something up, produces enormous power. It's not hard to see him hitting 30 homers in the majors if he can hit enough to get to that power.

Keith Law

ESPN Senior Writer