The Oakland A's shocking run to a title ended when Justin Verlander slammed the door shut on their season in Game 5 of the ALDS. But the A's needed every break to go right in the preceding 166 games just to get to that point. One break that went their way was signing 27-year-old Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes in the off-season, as he has now been named a finalist for the American League Rookie of the Year Award.
An announcement was made on MLB Network this afternoon that Cespedes had been nominated along with Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish and Angels outfielder Mike Trout. Though the Angels rookie should be the favorite, that doesn't take away what Cespedes was able to do for the Athletics in 2012.
The Cuban outfielder hit .292/.356/.505 with 23 home runs and 16 stolen bases while limited to just 129 games due to nagging injuries. FanGraphs.com has Cespedes second among rookies who played a full season with a 136 wRC+, a metric used to evaluate how many runs a hitter creates for a team with his bat. He trailed only Trout in that statistic.