The Mets are off to a great start this season, as they are in first place in the National League East with a record of 5-1. Their success can be attributed to several ball players, but Yoenis Cespedes has arguably made the biggest impact.
Coming off a strong spring training, Cespedes has been excellent in real games. So far this season, in 27 plate appearances, he’s hitting .273/.407/.682 with 3 home runs and a 185 wRC+. It’s as if spring training never ended and he is still at Port St. Lucie.
It’s remarkable that he is doing so well to begin the year. Last season, Cespedes missed half of the season due to hamstring, hip, heel, and quad injuries. With him on the disabled list for an extended period of time, the Mets struggled to win games—the team had a record of 32-45 when he wasn’t in the lineup.
Due to his long absence last year, Cespedes had altered how he conditioned throughout the offseason. Per an article from James Wagner of The New York Times, he spent the offseason running, doing yoga, and purposely spent less time in the weight room. In the past, he wasn’t running as much or doing yoga in the off-season. Instead, he’d spend a lot of time in the weight room lifting. He also neglected to do a lot of stretching or drink enough water. In Wagner’s article, he points out that the time in the weight room and not a lot of water intake could have played a part in him missing a significant portion of the 2017 campaign.
If Cespedes can stay healthy throughout the rest of the season and hit like this, he could potentially match or pass his career high in home runs. He’ll face left hander Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals in today’s game. In his career, he’s done fairly well against Gonzalez and could be in for another big game. In 13 at-bats, he’s hitting .538/.600/1.077 with two home runs and three strikeouts.