12.17.11

Yoenis Cespedes Is Ready For His (2nd) Close Up

Posted in Baseball, Free Expression at 4:38 pm by

A video resume (or as we like to call ‘em in the entertainment biz, an “electronic press kit”) for Cuban defector / CF Yeonis Cespedes was the toast of the blogosphere earlier this year, and after widespread acclaim, the folks at Born To Play Sports Management have prepared an impressive sequel.

Though I’d like to think B2P has a password-protected clip that led to the Miami Heat’s recent decision to sign veteran C Eddy Curry, chances, this type of presentation for any one player is unlikely to be topped in the near future. Largely responsible for making Cespedes a household name after his first video

, Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein — who makes a cameo — considers the “First Blood : Part II” of baseball sales pitches.

4:48: Yoenis Goes to the Beach: Oh yeah, workout time. Not only that, but it’s the return of former NFL star Ahman Green! Mercedes explained last month that Green is a friend of Cespedes’ trainers and was brought in to help motivate the outfielder, but it’s still weird to see the footballer. Exercises named after animals happen on the beach. Frog jumps, bear crawls, and behind the player is a girl who is either jumping with Cespedes, or doing failed handstands in the water. Either way, she steals the show.

5:40: The Jump: Director Edgar Mercedes makes his first editing gaffe, inserting the scene from the first video of Cespedes’ ridiculous vertical leaping ability. Did Coppola throw scenes from The Godfather into The Godfather II? No, he did not, and there’s a good reason for that. But wait, there is Cespedes setting a new personal best of 50 inches. I have problems going up 50 inches of stairs, so I’m impressed. You know what an even bigger highlight is? When the dude in the cap goes for a high-five and Cespedes totally leaves him hanging.

6:33: Field Work: You know what the best part of watching Cespedes run 60 yards in 6.41 seconds is? Watching him get ready to do it for 53 seconds. He kicks, bends, and stretches more than an Olympic sprinter, and we get every agonizing second of it. Manny Acta and Ozzie Guillen like what they see. Then I notice that above Cespedes’ number, where you’d expect his name, is just his nickname, “La Potencia” (The Potential). Hubris. The video of the first-to-third speed drill is equally agonizing; the drill takes seconds, but again we are treated to nearly a minute of Cespedes pacing before it. It’s not Boogie Nights as much as it’s Magnolia, or as Salieri said in Amadeus, “too many notes.” The best thing about the vertical reach is not just the distance, but the comparisons to NBA stars. We have a sleeper in this year’s dunk contest.

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