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Yoenis Cespedes is frustrated

Mar 17, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

cespedes getty Getty Images

Yoenis Cespedes has been working with hitting coach Chili Davis to shorten his swing and so far the results aren’t pretty, as the A’s outfielder is in the middle of a 0-for-20 slump.

Davis told Joe Stiglich of that the struggles at the plate have caused Cespedes to lose focus on the long-term goals of the mechanical changes:

It’s not gonna be perfect every time, but for Ces, he expects perfection. It frustrates him that he’s not perfect every time. It’s not a bad thing, but you’ve gotta understand that this game is an imperfect game.

Cespedes has always been known for his tremendous raw power, but Stiglich writes that “he’s having trouble lifting the ball and generating power.” Or as Cespedes himself put it: “It’s kind of a little difficult for me to create that swing when my whole life I’ve had a long swing.”

It’s also worth noting that, long swing and all, Cespedes’ production declined significantly last season. He went from hitting .292 with an .861 OPS as the Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2012 to hitting .240 with a .737 OPS last season, although his power numbers remained essentially the same.

  1. meatcarroll - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Just another Robinson Cano wannabe. Only the Mariners have the real thing.

    • scatterbrian - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      Yep, they sure did a great job scouting and developing him. Especially when no one else believed in his talents. Kudos M’s!

    • clydeserra - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      I read this comment hours ago, and I still have no idea what it means.

      • scatterbrian - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        Seems like a Mariners fan dipping his toe in the trash-talking waters. Clearly the fan-base lacks experience in that respect…

    • anxovies - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      Robinson Cano wannabe? You mean he’s going to loaf on the bases and tell the front office to sign more hitters?

  2. southernballhawk1 - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    You don’t mess with a good thing.

    • schuch10 - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      Adam Dunn agrees with you.

  3. deathmonkey41 - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    Are they completely discounting the fact that he played most of his life in Cuba and he wasn’t really scouted by MLB personnel? Maybe after a year in the league, pitchers now have a book on him and that’s why his numbers have dropped?

    • gmfw7 - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      No. they probably believe that is 100% the reason for his drop in production. however, if the pitchers have a book on him, and have found holes in his long swing, then he needs to adjust to them by shortening it. it’s pretty simple, actually.

      • clydeserra - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:45 PM

        its not about the swing. its about laying off bad pitches.

  4. mikhelb - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Céspedes like a lot of other power-swing Cubans usually hit a lot better the fastball than offspeed pitches. One of the greatest power-hitting cubans played in México’s summer league (Despaigne) and he just could not adapt to pitchers with better stuff than cuban pitchers and with far more control both in the location and command of their fastballs but also with more offspeed pitching. Despaigne could not cope with that league and he has more power than Soler/Puig/Céspedes, is more talented in the field than them (Puig has the talent to be better than Despaigne fielding and making strong accurate throws, though he is already faster in the basepaths) and has been playing for more time than his compatriotes.

    • scatterbrian - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      I don’t think your generalizations are limited to people from a particular island. They’re pretty common with all power hitters.

    • anxovies - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      Despaigne hit .338 8 HR 24 RBI .928 OPS .564 SLG in 33 games with AAA Campeche last year. Looks like he was coping pretty well.

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