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Cuban OF Yoelqui Cespedes Signs With Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks

 Matt Tallarini  |    Apr 26th, 2024 5:48pm EDT

(Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Cuban outfielder Yoelqui Cespedes signed with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks for the 2024 American Association regular season, the organization announced on April 24.

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, alongside being a two-time All-Star in 2014 and 2016, a one-time Gold Glove Award in 2015, and a one-time Silver Slugger Award in 2016.

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

Jim Margalus of the Sox Machine website reported on March 30 that the White Sox released the right-handed hitter.

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 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.

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.

In his three seasons in the minors, Cespedes has played in 314 games, hitting .253 with 1,314 plate appearances, striking 296 hits, 70 doubles, four triples, 35 home runs, 123 RBI, 90 walks, 379 strikeouts, and a .741 OPS.

The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks will play their first game of the 2024 American Association regular season at home against the Sioux City Explorers at Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo, N.D., on May 7 at 7 p.m. EST.