New York Mets News

Mets’ Yoenis Cespedes prefers left field but will play center

By Michelle Ioannou
Oct 31, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes fields a ball hit for a double by Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (not pictured) in the fifth inning in game four of the World Series at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Yoenis Cespedes fields a ball hit for a double by Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (not pictured) in the fifth inning in game four of the World Series at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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Yoenis Cespedes feels more comfortable in left field

I mean, he did win the American League Gold Glove in left field last season, so can we really blame him? However, with Michael Conforto starting in left field this season, the Mets are going to need Cespedes in center. He isn’t against playing in center, and is willing to do whatever’s best for the team, but it will be different to him. Cespedes spoke about this with ESPN’s Marly Rivera.

"“If I had the choice, I would stay in left field. But I will play where the team needs me. If they want me to play center field, I’ll play center field, and I’ll do the best I can.When I came here [to MLB] in 2012, I started playing center field. But that same year I moved to left field. That was a little difficult, but I got used to it already. Now I feel much more comfortable in left field. But my mind, and I’ve always said, if you are a good outfielder, you can play most positions.”"

We believe in you Yo. We know you’re a great outfielder, and we have faith you’ll be great in center field as well. Plus, you did play center back in Cuba, and when you first started playing here.

Why does Cespedes seem a bit hesitant about going from left to center? Well, because it is different.

"“The path of the ball is very different. In center field you have more time, but the ball travels more. I have to get back that sense of the direction of the ball when it comes off the bat.”"

There’s plenty of time to practice this in Spring Training. In fact, he played center field Thursday against the Cardinals and it didn’t seem like he struggled. By the time the regular season starts, it’s safe to bet that he’ll feel comfortable in this new position.

Next: Asdrubal Cabrera out for two weeks due to knee injury

Alderson foresees him playing in center a lot this upcoming season, especially since “it’s not easy to get him out of the lineup.” Cespedes will want to be in the game in whatever capacity he can be, making this transition from left to center even easier. Additionally, he will most likely be in left instead of Conforto when the Mets are facing left-handed pitchers. Juan Lagares will get his starts in center then.

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