The younger half-brother of Yoenis Cespedes is almost ready to make his U.S. debut with an upcoming skills showcase for Major League clubs in both Florida and Arizona sometime in March. Yoelkis Cespedes has been described as a “five tool outfielder with above-average tools across the board,” by MLB.com. There is intrigue by both MLB executives, scouts, and fans to see the younger Cespedes’ display the skills that have had him the talk of the international market since he defected from the island last summer. If the Mets ever needed somebody to add to their organization to remove the hurt of losing another young and projectible five-tool outfielder, then look no further.
The 22-year old Cuban outfielder is a candidate to sign with a Major League club during the upcoming International Signing Period on July 2nd, due to the fact he has still not been cleared as a free agent by Major League Baseball, and many clubs have already allocated much of their 2019-2020 international bonus pool. There will be no shortage of suitors however, especially if his workout displays the level of talent that has many scouts projecting him as one of the top, if not the top, international ball player not yet on a Major League roster. If you’re looking at what it may potentially cost to acquire Cespedes’ talents, you could comparitively look at recent international signee Pedro Leon, another top young talent from Cuba, who is slotted to sign with the Houston Astros on July 2nd at $4 million.
Could the Mets be a suitor? Surely they will have an inside track on the younger Cespedes’ considering he has been training this entire offseason with Yoenis in the Bahamas, and who else could possibly have a better scouting report on Yoelkis, than his older half-brother? It has been reported since defecting that the 5’9 Yoelkis has bulked up to close to 205 pounds, which has him looking eerily smililar to his elder half-brother’s build. He was previously listed at 187 pounds when playing with Granma in Cuba. Yoelkis’ reportedly also has reworked his swing, which looks like a mirror image of Yoenis’ swing. One of the only knocks on Yoelkis has been his inability to his the off-speed pitches throughout his time in Cuba and on the international circuit. We can only imagine with the switched up approach at the plate, he took multiple tips on correcting the hole in his swing from big brother. His arm in the outfield has also been described very similar to the cannon that La Potencia posseses in his aresenal of tools. The comparability between both players are uncanny.
As of right now there are no official numbers as far as how much money the Mets will have avaliable to spend in their 2020-2021 international bonus pool. The Mets haven’t been very active on the Cuban circuit in the past under the previous regime, but that may all change this upcoming offseason. Brodie Van Wagenen loves splashy acquistions, and for him to have the ability to add another Cespedes’ to the organization, on top of the amount of hype that is surrounding Yoelkis would be too tantalizing to pass up. Don’t forget, BVW represented Yoenis as an agent, and helped land him the mega deal he recieved from the Mets back in 2017.
Over the past couple of seasons, the Mets have done a great job replenshing their farm system via the MLB Draft and international signings they have made. However many of their top prospects, excluding Andre Gimenez, are still a few years away from having any kind of impact on the Major League level. Adding Cespedes’ to the farm system will add a player who could be ready to contribute to the big league roster within a year or two, and could relieve some of the sting of losing Jarred Kelenic, who is also projected to debut within the next season or two. Yoelkis’ also projects as a corner outfielder at the next level, something the Mets lack in their top echelon of prospects since making the trade with Seattle.
If the Mets are looking for a way to make to make ammends for trading away their top prospect, they now have an opportunity to right their wrongs on July 2nd. It’s also only fitting that their inside track to Yoelkis’ is sitting right in their own dugout. The Mets already have an advantage that the other 29 clubs don’t have. Make it happen Brodie.