Yoenis Cespedes' brother Yoelkis making a name for himself in Caribbean Series
'They've told me that I'm a five-tool player,' said Yoelkis
Although big league teams are still a week or so away from officially beginning spring training, one of the biggest baseball events in the world is currently taking place in Culiacan, Mexico. It's the Caribbean Series.
The Caribbean Series, which pits teams five Latin American countries (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela) against each other in a round robin tournament, rarely features big league players. Teams are usually made up of minor leaguers and players in pro leagues in those countries.
Among the players participating in the Caribbean Series this year is outfielder Yoelkis Cespedes of Cuba. Yes, he is Yoenis' younger brother. Earlier this week, the 19-year-old Yoelkis helped turn a stellar double play with a lunging catch in right field. Here's the video:
"They've told me that I'm a five-tool player," said Yoelkis to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. "I pay attention to those people, but I don't get overconfident because of that."
Cespedes, who batted ninth for Cuba, went 1 for 4 with a run scored and a strikeout in Wednesday's game. Cuba beat the Dominican Republic 4-0 (box score).
Yoelkis told Sanchez he talks to his brother regularly about baseball, and he's motivated by the inevitable comparisons to Yoenis that have been made. From Sanchez:
Back in Cuba, he is considered one of the top prospects on the island, and some baseball experts have gone as far as to claim he is better than Yoenis was at the same age. Yoelkis hit .304 with five home runs, eight doubles and 25 RBIs in 45 games in the first half of the season for Granma. He posted a .362 on-base percentage and slugged .525 with an .887 OPS. The speedster also hit six triples.
It's unclear what the future holds for Yoelkis right now. He told Sanchez he has "never thought of leaving my country," with means a jump to MLB isn't imminent. For now, we'll have to settle for watching the younger Cespedes making highlight reel plays in the Caribbean Series.
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