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Cuban Outfielder Yoelqui Cespedes Released

 Conor Liguori  |    May 18th, 2024 12:30pm EDT

Yoelqui Cespedes #16 of Team Cuba is greeted by teammate. (Photo by Yuki Taguchi/WBCI/MLB via Getty Images)

The Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks of the American Baseball Association released Cuban outfielder Yoelqui Cespedes on Friday, reports Yussef Diaz of Pelota Cubana USA on X. The Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball released Cespedes on March 30.  


Cespedes, the younger brother of former MLB outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, appeared in just three games for the Hawks. He went hitless in 12 plate appearances, striking out in half. He signed a $2.05 million contract with the White Sox in January 2021 but never met expectations.  


Cespedes split the 2023 minor league baseball season between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, hitting .214 with nine home runs and 31 RBI in 110 games with Birmingham. Despite decent power, he struck out 142 times compared to just 45 walks between the two levels. Cespedes is yet to make his MLB debut.  


The 26-year-old’s best years of his career were as a member of the Alazanes de Granma in Cuba’s Serie Nacional de Béisbol. Cespedes posted a .287/.352/.416 slash line in four seasons in the SNB and represented Cuba in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.  


He defected from his home country in 2019 while playing for Cuba in a Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball event in Dayton, Ohio. At just 26, Cespedes will seek another opportunity in professional baseball. Possible options include Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, the Chinese Professional Baseball League, or the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.  


The Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks are 3-2 in the American Association of Professional Baseball West Division and won their last league championship in 2022.  

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Conor Liguori