Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has one heck of an arm.
Cespedes made an amazing throw that tagged Los Angeles Angels second baseman Howie Kendrik out at home plate in the bottom of the eighth inning of the Angels' 2-1 win on June 11. Yahoo! Sports David Brown says it's the most impressive throw since Bo Jackson did something similar 25 years earlier:
"After muffing Mike Trout's hit to left field, Yoenis Cespedes seemed on the verge of handling the Oakland Athletics opponent a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. Trying to take advantage, Howie Kendrick of the Los Angeles Angels raced around third base and appeared a sure bet to cross home plate and break a tie.
"That's when Cespedes uncorked an astonishing throw, from about 310 feet away, that reached the mitt of catcher Derek Norris on the fly -- and just in time for him to put the tag on a stunned Kendrick.
"Out at the plate!
"Cespedes' throw seemed impossible, but it happened, and was perhaps the most impressive throw a major league outfielder has made since Bo Jackson's legendary BB at the Seattle Kingdome to nail Harold Reynolds at the plate in 1989."
MLB.com's Richard Justice marveled not only at Cespedes' arm strength, but also at his versatility. Cespedes was last year's Home Run Derby champion:
"I've watched the throw Yoenis Cespedes made Tuesday night a half-dozen times. I'll probably watch it another half-dozen times by the time I finish writing this. We'll all watch it again and again, and then we'll attempt to put the thing into words.
"There are none, really. You can watch Major League Baseball for a lot of years and not see an outfield play as spectacular as this one. Even now, it feels surreal, like it didn't really happen.
"I mean, who has that kind of arm strength? And it came out of nowhere. Cespedes had bobbled the ball, seemed almost nonchalant about running over and picking it up.
"And then he did that?
"It was in the air for perhaps 300 feet -- a long, arcing throw, a breathtaking play, a throw that ended up in catcher Derek Norris' glove and nailed Howie Kendrick.
"Somehow, it fits what we know of Cespedes. He's liked in his own clubhouse. He likes to have a good time.
"And then there's this: Cespedes' talent is crazy.
"Last summer, when his teammates found out Cespedes would be participating in the Home Run Derby at the night before the All-Star Game, they knew immediately that he would win. They just trusted that on a big stage, in a test of skills, he would show the world his talent."
On the other hand, ESPN was able to get the perspectives of both the Angels and Athletics regarding Cespedes' amazing heave:
"'A guided missile,' Angels manager Mike Scioscia called the throw to reporters after the game, won by the Angels 2-1 on Colin Cowgill's two-out homer in the 14th.
"Added Oakland manager Bob Melvin: 'You don't expect something like that. There aren't that many guys able to throw it that far on the fly.'
"Scioscia challenged the call, asking the umpiring crew to check if Kendrick was safe. The out call, though, was upheld, and the teams went on to play well into the night.
"'This one, for lack of a better word, he just winged it,' Angels third-base coach Gary DiSarcina said. 'And his arm strength and accuracy made it happen. You don't see that happen often, somebody with that arm strength and that ability to be accurate from the foul pole. Tremendous throw by a great player.'"
The 28-year-old Cespedes is in his third MLB season. He has 61 hits, 12 home runs and 40 RBIs on a .254 batting average through June 11, per ESPN stats.