Yoenis Cespedes struggled at the plate this year for reasons unknown to most. Analyzing why he struggled in 2013 versus when he was deemed excellent in 2012 all comes down to sabermetrics. Cespedes biggest enemy is himself in fact. Throughout research and statistics, Cespedes swings at too many inside pitches in an attempt to hit more home runs. The pressure from his overshadowed rookie season came back to haunt him this past year. His batting average dropped from .292 to .240 and his OPS fell from .861 to .737 all because of a few changes Cespedes made at the plate. The statistics easily point out the causes for Cespedes' struggles and how he might be able to fix them for next season. Even though it may seem that Cespedes was a much worse batter in 2013, that is not the entire case. He actually was much better at making contact with pitches thrown to the outside of the strike zone, boasting an increase from 59.5 % to 63.7 %.
Ranking and predicting all of the free agents expected to hit the market this season is never going to be perfectly correct and certainly won't be anywhere near perfectly correct. Therefore, I am here to preview this season's crop of batters and pitchers that may end up on different teams. Before I rank the players, I want to provide a list of all available free agents arranged alphabetically. After the ranking table, I will provide reasons for my decisions and state some predictions on how a player's possible transition would work out in the team's scheme.
I want to detail some of the scariest injuries of the 2013 MLB season in this article because Halloween is coming soon and it seemed fitting. Some of these injury videos may haunt you, so I advise discretion before watching any of them. The first injury that came to mind when I thought of the idea for this article was J.A. Happ's. Happ was hit in the head by a line drive early in the season and required months to recover from lasting effects. There seems to be a growing debate on pitchers being hit with line drives and if the MLB should institute some form of protection for pitcher on the mound. The injury is all to eerily similar to last year when Brandon McCarthy was hit in the head by a line drive. Alex Cobb was also hit in the head this year and lost months of his best season yet. Happ's injury video was included over Cobb's just because it happened earlier in the season. Happ had to be carted away on a stretcher, never knowing if he would ever be the same again. In the end, Happ suffered a skull fracture and actually sprained his right knee upon falling to the ground. Happ was hit on May 7th and did not return for three months and ultimately finished the season with a 4.56 ERA over 92.2 innings.