Cespedes blasts home run still wearing bat-weight
Yoenis Cespedes hit 23 home runs in his rookie season with the A's last year. (AP)
PHOENIX -- A "homer" and a "donut" haven't gone together this well since The Simpsons hit the TV airwaves in 1989. Yoenis Cespedes' spring training feats of strength have reached a whole new level. On Friday, he did something that shocked even A's manager Bob Melvin.
"He told me today he was going to hit a home run off of me with the donut on the bat," Melvin said. "That's what he did."
A baseball bat donut is a weight that makes the bat heavier. Usually a player swings with it in the on-deck circle so his bat feels lighter when he steps to the plate. For Cespedes to smack a home run with the donut on the bat is a testament to how strong the Cuban-born slugger is.
Apparently Cespedes told Melvin all morning that he was going to do it. Melvin claimed the left fielder was borderline taunting him.
"That was almost like Babe Ruth calling his shot," Melvin said.
Later in the day, Melvin told a group of fans watching that he would give Cespedes a ball to drive. Boy did he ever. Cespedes responded by hitting a missile to left center that landed amongst a bunch of parked cars beyond the outfield wall. The crowd of fans surrounding the field started clapping and cheering. It's clear Cespedes has found a home with the A's.
"He's comfortable with everything now so he doesn't have to think about it," Melvin said. "He's comfortable with his teammates, his teammates are comfortable with him. He knows the routine with what we are doing in spring training. A lot of the stuff that he had to think about last year is second nature to him now."