Promising Red Sox Shortstop Prospect with Tremendous Power Draws Inspiration from Xander Bogaerts

Red Sox Yoeilin Cespedes, the promising teenage shortstop prospect in the Red Sox organization, had an impressive season against Dominican Summer League pitchers. Despite being just 18 years old as of September 8, Cespedes showcased his talent as a right-handed hitter, posting impressive statistics. In 46 games, he recorded a batting average of .346, an on-base percentage of .392, a slugging percentage of .560, and an OPS of .952. Cespedes also hit six home runs, 15 doubles, and four triples, contributing significantly with 37 runs, 38 RBIs, 14 walks, and 24 strikeouts.

Baseball America recognized his potential early, stating on July 11, “Already, Cespedes looks like one of the top hitting prospects to come through the organization’s academy since Rafael Devers a decade ago.”

“It’s an incredible feeling to be compared to him,” expressed Cespedes through translator Carlos Villoria Benítez on Tuesday at Fenway Park. “He’s someone I admire and follow closely. Being compared to him is exceptionally special to me.”

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Cespedes received recognition as the Red Sox Latin Program Position Player of the Year, an honor that he and other award-winning Red Sox minor leaguers were celebrated for during the event at Fenway Park on Tuesday.

However, it’s another iconic Red Sox star whom Cespedes admired while growing up: Xander Bogaerts. Cespedes strives to emulate Bogaerts in his own game. In fact, one of the reasons he chose to sign with Boston was his admiration for Bogaerts. Interestingly, Cespedes put pen to paper with the Red Sox for a $1.4 million deal in January, not long after Bogaerts had signed with the Padres.

Cespedes explained, “One of the reasons was because Xander was here. And another one is because I love Boston. I love the Red Sox.” He went on to express his admiration for the way Bogaerts approaches the game, noting that Bogaerts makes it appear effortless and always maintains a sense of composure.

Red Sox assistant GM Eddie Romero also commented on Cespedes in July, stating, “Obviously the numbers down there speak for themselves. A lot of contact. A lot of hard contact. I think he’s working on being a little bit more patient at the plate.” Cespedes’ promising performance and dedication to improving his game have certainly caught the attention of the Red Sox organization.

Cespedes is known for his aggressive approach at the plate, but he acknowledges the need to refine his swing decisions as he progresses through the minor league system. He recognizes that his aggressiveness sometimes leads him to swing at pitches that may not be within the strike zone, and he is actively working on improving this aspect of his game.

Cespedes, despite his stature at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, is viewed by the Red Sox as a player with the potential to generate power in his hitting. As noted by Romero, he is not solely focused on pulling the ball but rather demonstrates an ability to utilize the entire field when hitting. Cespedes consistently makes hard contact all over the field and has a tendency to hit the ball with authority in various areas, even in response to pitches located strategically by opposing pitchers. Notably, he maintains a low strikeout rate, showcasing his ability to make frequent contact—a positive sign for his development as a hitter.


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