Towards the end of the off-season the Mets defense for why they weren’t going after marquee outfielders like Pollock and Harper was something along the lines of, “well, we’re getting Cespedes back!”. Which is true in theory I suppose.
Getting a healthy Yoenis Cespedes will be a huge boost to the roster but there’s a lot of questions. Does this mean early July or late August? Will he produce at the level he did? What other injuries will the Mets have at that point and what holes in their depth have been exposed? What does it even mean to be healthy?
The Mets seriously messed up Cespedes last year. I don’t blame him at all. It was clear that he was dealing with a pretty bad injury to both heals and when he became “healthy enough” to run again, the Mets sent him back out there despite knowing he needed a season ending surgery with a long recovery time. Fairly dehumanizing. Despite this pretty insane injury, he was an average to above average (depending on what you look at below) ball player last year:
2018: 157 PA, 141 AB, 9 HR, .262/.325/.496, 0.9 WAR, 99 DRC+
Career: .274/.328/.498, 123 DRC+
Projections, with the exception of ZiPS which does not care about playing time had balance his recovery with his tendency to get injured in developing these projections:
(Citations: Baseball Prospectus (BP) projections are from the Baseball Prospectus annual which can you can get here. It’s highly recommended. ESPN projections can be found here. ZiPS can be found here. Steamer can be found here. Baseball Reference projections (BR) can found on the players BR page which linked elsewhere on this article. )
For the most part, the projections see him coming back as an above average player with a bat the Mets lineup could use. Put this is all predicated on Cespedes coming back healthy which is not a guarantee at all.