Yoenis Céspedes is just 26 years old, but he’s been playing baseball since he was 18. He made is debut debuted in the Cuban National Series in 2003. He started for Cuba in the 2009 Baseball World Cup and the World Baseball Classic (in the latter, he hit well but made a fatal fielding error that may have cost Cuba an appearance in the final four).
Céspedes defected from Cuba in 2011 in hopes of playing Major League Baseball in America. He took up residence in the Dominician Republic and his agents started making scouting videos. When these were leaked, they were good for a laugh, but baseball fans paying attention also knew that Céspedes was the most pure hitting prospect to come out of Cuba or maybe anywhere in many years. On March 3, 2012, he signed a 4-year, $36 million contract with the Oakland Athletics.
In his first Major League Game, Céspedes hit a double. In the next three, he hit a home run in each. When he’s not hitting bombs, he is striking out (seven times so far). At his current rate, he’s “on pace” to hit 121 home runs (and strike out 283 times)!
3. Yoenis Céspedes: The Showcase
This man first came into my life with this video, put together by his agents in an attempt to get him signed with a Major League ball club after Céspedes decided to defect from Cuba. It starts with a Star Wars style intro and, amazingly, only gets better from there. The last 40 seconds is the highlight.
4. Yoenis Céspedes Scouting Video #2
Céspedes returns. Yoenis meets with scouts! Yoenis goes to the beach! But the real highlight is at 24:26: The Epilogue. You’ll have to watch it yourself to believe it, but suffice to say: Yoenis Céspedes is a hero among men.