After several months of waiting, the White Sox have finally assigned prospect Yoelqui Céspedes to a minor league affiliate. The Cuban outfielder has been added to High-A Winston-Salem’s active roster, as first reported by James Fegan of The Athletic.
Céspedes, 23, has been dealing with issues related to his work visa over the past few months, causing the delay in his assignment. While awaiting a resolution, he’s been training and playing in simulated games at the White Sox’s spring training facility in Arizona. Due to limited media coverage, our only recent glimpse at Céspedes has come in the way of several images published to Twitter by Arizona photographer Jerry Espinoza.
The younger brother of Yoenis, Yoelqui signed a $2.05 million bonus with the White Sox back in January and immediately became the team’s second-ranked prospect. His range and plus-plus arm strength gives him the capability of playing all three outfield positions, a welcomed sight for a team that’s seen its depth crippled this season. If prior reports hold true, then it sounds like the organization will be developing him in center field.
As for his bat, MLB Pipeline says his speed and strength gives him above-average raw power, though the verdict is still out on whether that will translate against better pitching. In Cuba’s top league (CNS – Cuba National Series), Céspedes slashed .287/.351/.415 with 36 doubles, 10 triples, 12 home runs, 98 RBI, and .766 OPS across four seasons. Over in Can-Am play, his slash line dropped to .253/.343/.316 in 27 games that spanned two years.
While many believe Céspedes could reach the majors by 2022, there’s still no clear indication yet on his current timeline in the minor leagues. Fegan originally reported that the team was leaning towards starting him in Double-A Birmingham, so it shouldn’t be a shock to see him promoted sooner than later if all goes well in High-A.
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Featured Photo: White Sox/Twitter