Issue: Is Yoenis Cespedes ready?
Analysis: Oh, good lord, yes. If this guy spends a day in the minor leagues, the A’s are nuts.
I can say this because I returned Tuesday from a six-day trip to the desert, and I made a point to observe and learn as much about Cespedes as possible (while giving equal time to taking in all things Giants).
Look, the splashy debut Saturday was ridiculously impressive, from his patient, I-know-you-want-me-to-hack-but-I-have-a-job-to-do walk in his first at-bat, to his RBI bullet single up the middle, to his blink-and-you-missed it line drive of a home run over the left-field fence after fouling off four consecutive breaking balls.
He was silky smooth in the outfield, too, passing a modest test on a sun ball with a subtle flash of flair in the form of a Rickey Henderson-esque catch to end his last inning in center field.
But just as impressive, if not more so, was watching Cespedes, 26, go about his routine business. Very composed and mature approach to the game. Businesslike. And again, whoa — is this guy gifted.
That 20-minute video you can find online, showing feats of strength and touting him as the Next Big Thing? Believe me, it is was not a CGI creation. Cespedes is everything that video shows him to be and more.
Granted, talent doesn’t guarantee big league success, but the work ethic he’s displayed thus far suggests he’s got a very good chance to make sure his talent translates.
Minors? Stop it. He’s the highest-paid player on the team. And more than likely the best. Right now.