6 Challenges the Oakland A’s Will Face in 2013

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# 4 Yoenis Cespedes Repeat Campaign:

Appearances are sometimes deceiving.  But with this guy, that was not the case in 2012, as no player for the Oakland Athletics had as much an impact on the team as he.  Coming in second in AL Rookie Of The Year voting, Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes astonished Major League Baseball with a breakout rookie campaign.

Oct 7, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) at bat during game two of the 2012 ALDS against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

He finished 2012 batting .292, collecting one hundred forty two hits, driving in eighty two, and launched twenty three homeruns.  He struck out a lot (one hundred two times), but he also missed thirty three games due to injuries, so who knows how much better his numbers could have looked by season’s end.

What’s concerning is his performance thus far in spring, as he’s only batting a poor .160.  Since it is only Spring Training, I have full faith in the talented AL Rookie Of The Year runner-up to turn things around at least within the first month of next season.  And though most would agree that it is only by way of team effort (myself included) with which winning is attainable, Cespedes represents a major part of Oakland’s lineup, and will need to not only be a table-setter, but continue his penchant for hitting with runners in scoring position; Cespedes ranks first on the team in hits with runners in scoring position (39) and bats a cool .345 in those situational at bats.

As one of the best hitters on the club, the exemplary left fielder will be integral in Oakland’s drive to repeat as division champs.