Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics

Yoenis Cespedes (shown here) led the Oakland Athletics to the Major League Baseball playoffs in 2012. Before the season’s start, the Athletics signed Cespedes to a large contract, even though he had never played an inning of baseball in the United States. What’s more, other teams considered him too big a risk. But Farhan Zaidi, a statistical guru, based his decision “on the numbers.” MICHAEL ZAGARIS, OAKLAND ATHLETICS