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Keith Law praises unheralded Red Sox prospect in latest rankings

The usual suspects received their roses in The Athletic’s Keith Law’s most recent prospect rankings for the Boston Red Sox.


Top prospects in the Red Sox organization according to Law and many others’ lists included Marcelo Mayer, Roman Anthony, Ceddanne Rafaela, Kyle Teel, and Miguel Bleis.

However, Law also made several encouraging assessments about lesser prospects, the most notable of which was his selection as Boston’s eighth-best prospect.

A promising shortstop on both sides of the ball, Yoeilin Cespedes (subscription required) is headed into his age-18 season. Law praised him especially for his offensive output in the Dominican Summer League. He played one season in Boston’s minor league systems after signing with them in January of last year.

Cespedes batted.346/.392/.560 and raked in the DSL. Law observed that he struck out sparingly—just 11.4% of the time—and made regular, firm contact, which was unusual for a 17-year-old. Cespedes had 46 appearances and collected a good number of extra-base hits. He had six home runs, four triples, and fifteen doubles. Along with 38 RBI, he scored 37 runs.

Keith Law of The Athletic offered Red Sox prospect Yoeilin Cespedes excellent marks.

If Cespedes’s success translates to regular-season play, Law even went so far as to label him as the Red Sox’s “sleeper” prospect, with the potential to emerge as Boston’s “next superstar hitting prospect.”

Law stated that Cespedes has a “good chance” of staying at shortstop because he is a good defender as well. The 18-year-old is agile, has a good arm, and is mediocrely fast, but he has plenty of time to improve. However, the prospect is drawing comparisons to the organization’s last great homegrown shortstop, Xander Bogaerts, even before he matures in the Red Sox program.

Cespedes will probably start his career in the Florida Complex League or at Single-A Salem with the Red Sox. Although he is still in the younger part of the prospect pool and Sox fans probably won’t see him at Fenway for two or three seasons, it’s still important to keep an eye out for Boston’s “next superstar hitting prospect” as he progresses through the system.

The farm system has been a top priority for the front office, and it’s now starting to pay off. Cespedes is just one of many players who will be vying for a spot in the major leagues by scything through Boston’s prospect pool. If Law is right about Cespedes’ abilities, he should have no trouble working his way up to the majors in a few years.


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