Thursday, April 18, 2024

White Sox Reportedly Release Former Top Prospect

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Ever since Chris Getz took over the role as the General Manager for the Chicago White Sox, he has made it very clear that he is not a fan of the roster as it is currently constructed. This is known both from the comments he has made, as well as his various roster moves.

He has trimmed the fat of the roster in the major leagues and now it seems like he is making some moves in the minor leagues as well. This comes in the form of a surprise release of a former big international free agent signing.

According to Jim Margalus and James Fox in the Sox Machine 2024 Affiliate Preview, they noted that Yoelqui Cespedes has been released by the team this week.

While this move has not shown up on the Charlotte Knights transaction page, he no longer appears on the roster.

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This comes as a shock, as the White Sox had invested a lot of resources into him. In 2021, the White Sox signed him for 2 million, adding him to the long line of Cuban prospects in the White Sox system. As the half-brother of MLB All-Star Yoenis Cespedes, there was faith that he would have major league success. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case to this point.

Cespedes, who is now 26, has only made it to AAA after three years in the minors, starting at 23 years old. He showed promise in his first taste of affiliated ball, as between A+ and AA in 2021, he hit .285 with a .350 OBP. He finished with eight home runs, 27 RBIs, and 18 stolen bases in 72 games. He did strike out 83 times, so that was the one concern in an otherwise very good first season in the minors.

The White Sox then had high hopes that Cespedes would build off that season in 2022, and he had another solid year. In AA, he hit .258 with a .332 OBP, which was just a little bit worse from the season before. But, in 119 games, he finished with 17 home runs, 59 RBIs, and an impressive 33 stolen bases. However, he would strike out 154 times, compared to just 29 walks. This was not a good sign for Cespedes, as he was swinging and missing at a very high rate.

2023 was his worst season of all, as over 121 games, he hit .230 with a .319 OBP between AA and AAA. However, his stats improved once he got to AAA, as he hit .362 in 47 at-bats there. He still struggled with swinging and missing, as between both levels he struck out 142 times, compared to just 45 walks. This was an improvement from the year before, but still not great.

Chris Getz and the White Sox clearly did not like the way he played over the last few years as now they cut ties with him. I’m sure that since he was once a highly regarded international prospect, he’ll find his way onto another roster soon. It is a shame that it could not work out with Cespedes, as I had high hopes for him once he was signed. We wish him the best of luck in the future.

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