About 3 minutes reading time.

Chicago White Sox Released OF Yoelqui Cespedes

 Matt Tallarini  |    Apr 1st, 2024 7:27pm EDT

Yoelqui Cespedes during spring training. (Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

The Chicago White Sox released  outfielder Yoelqui Cespedes, Jim Margalus of the Sox Machine website reported on March 30. 

Cespedes only played one game during spring training and did not record a hit. He was also ranked No. 14 in the White Sox organization during the 2023 season by MLBpipeline.com and was invited to big league camp for three seasons from 2021-23. 

Cespedes, 26, was born in Yara, Cuba, and has played three seasons in the minor leagues from 2021-23 with the White Sox organization. 

Cespedes began his professional career after he left the Cuban national team on June 25, 2019, from Dayton, Ohio, while playing against CanAm league teams that summer.  

Before Cespedes left his team in the United States, he played for the Cuban national team at the 2017 World Baseball Classic when he was 19. 

Cespedes played in 228 games for Alazanes de Granma in Serie Nacional from 2015-19 and batted .287 with 803 plate appearances. He had 202 hits, 35 doubles, 10 triples, 12 home runs, 98 RBI, 14 stolen bases, 37 walks, 129 strikeouts, and a .769 OPS before he left Cuba. 

Cespedes did not sign with the White Sox until December 22, 2020, when he became an international free agent. The White Sox organization officially announced Cespedes’s minor contract on January 15, 2021. 

Cespedes signed a $2 million contract with the South Side ball club before being assigned to High-A Winston-Salem on June 19, 2021. 

With High-A Winston-Salem, Cespedes played in 45 games and batted .278 with 199 plate appearances, recording 49 hits, 17 doubles, seven home runs, 20 RBI, 10 stolen bases, 13 walks, 56 strikeouts, and a .850 OPS before he was promoted to Double-A Birmingham on August 17, 2021. 

Before being called up to Birmingham, Cespedes was selected to play for the American League Futures team at Coors Field during the All-Star break. 

In Double-A Birmingham, Cespedes batted .298, playing in 29 games with 100 plate appearances. He smacked 28 hits, three doubles, two triples, one home run, seven RBI, eight stolen bases, three walks, and 22 strikeouts to end the 2021 season. 

Cespedes played in 19 games in the Arizona Fall League during the 2021 offseason with the Glendale Desert Dogs. He batted .181 with 78 plate appearances and had 13 hits, three doubles, one RBI, two stolen bases, two walks, and 22 strikeouts before reporting to minor league camp. 

During the 2022 regular season, Cespedes played 119 games with Double-A Birmingham and batted .258 with 512 plate appearances. He recorded 118 hits, 29 doubles, one triple, 17 home runs, 59 RBI, 33 stolen bases, 29 walks, 154 strikeouts, and a .769 OPS. 

Last season, Cespedes started in Double-A Birmingham and played in 110 games, batting .214 with 456 plate appearances, smacking 84 hits, 15 doubles, one triple, nine home runs, 31 RBI, 15 stolen bases, 45 walks, 135 strikeouts, and a .641 OPS before he was called up to Triple-A Charlotte on September 10, 2023. 

Cespedes finished the 2023 season playing in 11 games in Charlotte and batted .362 with 47 plate appearances, ripping 17 hits, six doubles, one home run, six RBI, one stolen base, and struck out seven times. 

Yoelqui is the half-brother of former MLB Yoenis Cespedes, who played eight seasons with the Oakland Athletics from 2012-14, the Boston Red Sox in 2014, the Detroit Tigers in 2015, and the New York Mets from 2015-18 and 2020. He was also a two-time All-Star in 2014 and 2016, a one-time Gold Glove Award winner in 2015, and a one-time Silver Slugger Award winner in 2015. 

Cespedes can open his options to play in Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, and the Korean Baseball Organization if all 30 teams do not see a fit for him in Triple-A or their 40-man rosters for the remainder of 2024.