CHICAGO – Early in their rebuild, the White Sox caused plenty of buzz when they signed a young Cuban outfielder that figured to make a major impact in Major League Baseball.
In May of 2017, they signed outfielder Luis Robert, the No. 1 international free agent in that year, to be a part of a young core of players that would help create a new era of the franchise.
That’s worked out, as Robert was a finalist for Rookie of the Year in 2020 as the White Sox made the playoffs for the first time in twelve year. Now the team is looking to Cuba again to add another strong player to their system.
On Friday, the White Sox signed Yoelqui Cespedes, giving him a $2.05 million signing bonus to join the organization. Like Robert, he’s the No. 1 international prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, and gives the team yet another strong outfielder in the system.
“Yoelqui has worked extremely hard to put himself in this situation,” said White Sox special assistant to the general manager – international operations Marco Paddy in a statement released by the team. “He has the ability to play all three outfield positions with above average defense, line-to-line hitting ability with power to all fields and running instincts to steal and stretch singles into doubles.”
The 23-year old played four seasons with Granma in the Cuban Serie Nacional and hit .287/.351/.415 in 226 games with 35 doubles, ten triples, 12 homers, and 98 RBI. He’s also represented Cuba on the national team in the Caribbean Series, World Baseball Classic, and Canadian-American Association.