On Wednesday night, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes played his 162nd game for the New York Mets.
After tears were shed on the field by a certain shortstop who must remain unnamed.
Cespedes was received by Mets fans as the savior to a team that desperately needed a boost, and boy, did he live up to the part. After joining the Amazin’s, Yo went on to slash .287/.337/.604 with 17 homeruns, 44 driven in, and 39 runs. His memorable run had fans of the game talking about a possible Most Valuable Player award, though his lack of at-bats in the league would most definitely disqualify him from serious contention.
Not surprisingly, the MVP award did not come, but there is no question as to who was the MVP for the boys in blue.
The acquisition of La Potencia, which is Spanish for The Power, proved to be one of the biggest moves in Mets history. Not only did he help the Mets catch the Nationals in the standings a few days after he was acquired, he essentially buried the Nats’ playoffs hopes.
The Mets went into Washington with a four game lead, a seven game turnaround from the pre-Cespedes era. On Sept. 9th, after winning the first two games of the series, Cespedes came up in the top of the 8th in a tied game. Drew Storen, who had just entered the game, hanged a slider. then Yo did this:
The Mets won the game, and left the nation’s capital with a commanding seven game lead. They never looked back, making it all the way to the World Series.
Though the Mets couldn’t finish the job in 2015, their Yo-powered run to the Fall Classic sent the city into a craze. Everyone was pulling for the blue and orange.
The Mets shocked everyone with their impressive World Series run. Then they shocked everyone by resigning Cespedes to a 3 year, $75 million. The front-loaded deal, which had an opt-out after the first season, guaranteed Cespedes $30.5 million if he decided to exercise that clause. Essentially, barring a horrible season, Cespedes was going to be playing on a one year deal.
In his second season, Yo has continued to rake to a .298/.369./.572 line. He’s hit 27 home runs, driven in 68, and scored 57 runs. Though the lineup has struggled with injuries and he has been pitched around, Yo has still been able to produce solid numbers.
In his 162 games since joining the Mets, Cespedes has hit at a clip of .294/.358/.584 with 34 doubles, five triples, 44 home runs, 112 RBI, and 96 runs scored.
Those numbers could have given Bryce Harper a run for his money, especially since the Mets won the division. For you sabermetric-heads, his WAR has been 5.2 which, per FanGraphs, puts him at superstar level.
Last month, Yo announced he’s not going to opt out, much to the delight of Mets fans, although we’ll see about that. It is clear he loves playing in the New York limelight, and it is also clear that Mets fans love him.
Maybe Cespedes will not post the same numbers over the next 162 games, but what he has done over his first 162 games will stay with Mets fans for a very long time.
Here’s to many more bat flips in blue and orange.