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White Sox Expected to Sign Yoelkis Cespedes in January

The White Sox are expected to ink Cuban outfielder Yoelkis Cespedes to a deal when the international signing period opens in January.

Yoelqui Cespedes White Sox
Photo: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the White Sox intend to sign Cuban outfielder Yoelkis Cespedes for $2 million when the delayed international signing period opens in January.

Cespedes is the top-ranked international player by MLB Pipeline and the #12 prospect at Baseball America. The White Sox were linked to the highly touted prospect earlier in the year, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the international signing period from this past July to January of 2021.

Yes, Cespedes is the half-brother of MLB outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

MLB.com profiles Yoelkis Cespedes as a “five-tool outfielder with above-average tools across the board.” His arm has been comparable to Yoenis’, which is mind-boggling to most scouts. The 23-year-old’s build is similar to his half-brother due to him bulking 20 pounds since defecting from Cuba. Further reports indicate that Yoelkis has been working with Yoenis to fixing holes in his swing.

Here’s a look at his stats from his time in Cuba:

Register Batting
Year Age AgeDif Tm Lg Lev Aff G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
2015-1617-10.9GranmaCNSFgn4479741019210501118.257.304.311.6152314000
2016182 Teams2 LgsFgn-FgW953743295998169645691755.298.360.456.816150617741
2016-1718-10.5GranmaCNSFgn903583135893159645691751.297.362.460.822144617741
2016-1718-11.0CubaCARSFgW516161510000004.313.313.375.688600000
2017192 Teams2 LgsFgn-FgW752902464367130641711742.272.352.398.75098416653
2017-1819-9.3GranmaCNSFgn712892454267130641711742.273.353.400.75398416653
2017-1819-9.5CubaCARSFgW4111000000000.000.000.000.000000000
201719-7.8CubaCAMAInd208977921600730525.273.364.351.714276100
2018-1920-9.7GranmaCNSFgn217772423500710218.319.355.389.74428210
201921-5.3CubaCAMAInd721181300001006.167.250.167.41732100
Foreign (4 seasons)Foreign23582072111620736101298141137133.287.351.415.76629911391494
CNS (4 seasons)CNS22680370411420235101298141137129.287.352.416.76929311391494
Other (2 seasons)Other27110951024600740531.253.343.316.658308200
All Levels (5 Seasons)262930816126231421012105181142164.283.350.403.753329471694
Fgn (4 seasons)Foreign22680370411420235101298141137129.287.352.416.76929311391494
FgW (2 seasons)Foreign917172510000004.294.294.353.647600000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/22/2020.

The only nagging negative regarding Cespedes is an inability to hit or refrain from swinging at offspeed pitches. Overall, the scouting report on Cespedes reads fairly similar to another recent “five-tool” outfielder from Cuba that developed in the White Sox organization — none other than Luis Robert.

While Cespedes will need some time in the minor leagues to develop and satisfy MLB rules, it is not a stretch to think he will be at the big league level by some point in 2022.


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