Yoenis Cespedes showed what all the hype was about in his A’s debut Saturday. The outfielder from Cuba lined a homer over the left field wall and added an RBI single and walk in three at-bats against the Cincinnati Reds at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Batting second and playing center field, Cespedes walked on six pitches — without swinging the bat — in the bottom of the first. He came up in the second with runners on the corners and knocked a single up the middle to score Josh Donaldson. Then in the fourth, facing lefty Jeff Francis, Cespedes fouled off four straight breaking balls before hammering what appeared to be a letter-high fastball over the left field wall.
He also handled two routine fly balls in center — an all-around impressive performance for the outfielder who defected from Cuba and signed a four-year $36 million deal with Oakland on Feb. 13. Cespedes missed two weeks of camp while awaiting his worker’s visa and made his Cactus League debut Saturday.