Comparing Yoenis to Yoelkis Cespedes from Cuban League Numbers

July 2 is coming up and that is the time major league teams normally sign international prospects. This year could be a little different because of the corona virus and the suspension on scouting. Most teams have had their players for this year committed by 15 and probably already have informal contracts in place so there probably should not be that big an impact on signings. The one player getting a lot of buzz is the half brother of Yoenis Cespedes, Yoelkis. When you compare their Cuban numbers you have to wonder why, unless it is a down year for international prospects.

Yoennis was a stud in the Cuban League. You look at his Cuban numbers and as a 20 year old through his early years he was among the league leaders in homeruns, hitting between 15 to 33 his last year, finally defecting at the age of 26. His first couple years he had walk to whiff ratios of 28/65 and 34/59 but after that the number of walks to whiffs were about equal in his last six years. His career Cuban batting average was about .319.

His major league seasons have been impressive when healthy, but staying healthy has been an issue. His best season was in 2015 when he hit 35 homeruns, followed the next season with the Mets when he hit 31. After that his last three years have been major disappointments, plagued by injuries. One has to wonder about his motivation to continue playing.

Looking at the Cuban numbers for Yoelkis brings up some rather unimpressive stats. This is a league that has also been watered down with defections. The pitching is not as strong as when Yoenis played.

Yoelkis put in four years in the Cuban League, half the time as his brother. Both started their careers at 18 years of age. Yet according to the stats on Baseball Reference, Yoelkis highest homerun numbers are just six. Yoennis hit 9 hist first year, 15 his second year and 23 his third year with a career batting average of .319. Yoelkis has just 12 homeruns in his four years in the Cuban League with a career batting average of .287. His walk to whiff rate is also not impressive (37/133).

Finally, if you look at slugging numbers Yoennis slugged .585 over his eight year career, including slugging over .500 in his first four years in the Cuban League. Yoelkis has a career .415 slugging average and has yet to reach the .500 slugging mark in his four years of Cuban ball.

Myworld would be cautious about spending big bucks for Yoelkis, based on the numbers in baseball reference. He is also listed at 5′7″ for his height where Yoennis is shown at 5′10″. We see nothing more than a fourth outfielder or organizational player in the minor leagues, if those numbers at Baseball Reference are accurate.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.