Be honest, how many of you knew the name Yeonis Cespedes three days ago? Even if you vaguely remembered him from the World Baseball Classic, how many of you had strong feelings about him one way or the other? How many of you knew his name of the top of your head?
How many of you desperately want the Yankees to sign him now?
Every now and then, something like this happens. A player who hardly anyone knows anything about grabs the baseball world’s attention and becomes a sensation. Not sure I’ve ever seen it happen this quickly, but you really can’t predict baseball, and right now Cespedes is the unpredictable star of the offseason.
He and Yu Darvish rule the world. And most of us have only seen a few highlight clips and exhibition innings of them actually playing the game.
Of course the Yankees have seen Cespedes. The Yankees have always been heavily involved in the international market, and I can’t imagine they needed a Baseball Prospectus story — which was terrific, by the way — to find out about this guy. Is he as good as advertised? I have no idea. I’m one of those people who wouldn’t have recognized his name on Saturday morning. But I get it. I get the excitement.
The world of prospects is all about high hopes and best-case scenarios. It’s about seeing a young player and thinking about what he might become, and Yeonis Cespedes might become a great major league player — he’s certainly hyped that way — so of course Yankees fans should want the Yankees to sign him. He’s the name of the moment, and he’s out there, and one guess is as good as the next about what he’s really worth.
Will he live up to this instant hype? Maybe. Maybe not. For now, that uncertainty is enough to grab our attention.