Yoelqui Cespedes Receives Brotherly Advice

On the first day of the international signing period on Jan. 15, the White Sox agreed to terms with 23-year-old Cuban outfielder Yoelqui Cespedes, the younger half-brother of Yoenis Cespedes.

“The tool set is there,” White Sox international scouting director Marco Paddy said of Yoelqui. “He can run. He can throw. He’s a very good, disciplined hitter with a good feel for the strike zone. And he’s shown tremendous power to all sides of the field.

“We’re getting a guy who has the potential to have five tools in the major leagues.”

Cespedes, who received a $2.05 million bonus, played four seasons from 2015 to 2019 in the Cuban major league. The righthanded batter hit .287/.351/.415 with 35 doubles, 10 triples, 12 home runs, 114 runs scored and 14 stolen bases in 226 career games with Granma.

Trying to keep the rust off was the main objective during the long layoff.

“My first goal was to gain some weight,” said the 5-foot-9, 200-pound Cespedes. “After that, it was just trying to fix the little things like pitch recognition, baserunning and defense.”

Cespedes has spent a lot of his time working with Yoenis Cespedes in Florida.

“He’s been a very big help for me because he has already passed through these problems,” Yoelqui said. “He knows what I’m going to face. The main advice he gives me is to work hard every day.”

A natural center fielder, Yoelqui Cespedes can also play the corner spots. He’s just looking forward to playing anywhere this year and is likely to begin his professional career at Low-A or High-A.

“He’s advanced,” Paddy said. “He knows how to play the game. Since he was 19 years old he’s been on the Cuban national team with a lot of international experience, the World (Baseball) Classic in Tokyo and he’s been to two Caribbean Series.

“It’s just a matter of him getting work, but he’s very close to the major leagues.”


— The White Sox signed outfielder Nick Williams to a minor league contract. In parts of three seasons with the Phillies from 2017-19, Williams hit .254/.313/.420 with 31 home runs.

Luke Shilling is back in the organization after being released in May. The righthander missed the entire 2018 season after having back surgery and the entire 2019 season with a shoulder injury. Shilling was the organization’s 15th-round pick in 2018 out of Illinois.


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