Yoeilin Cespedes wasn’t the most talked about Red Sox prospect in Boston’s farm system, joining the organization unranked, but the 18-year-old is determined.

Signed to a $1.4 million international free agent contract, the largest bonus the Red Sox handed out in 2023, Cespedes is taking inspiration from a former Boston fan-favorite: Xander Bogaerts.

Ironically enough, Cespedes inked his payday with the Red Sox shortly after Bogaerts landed a $280 million deal with the San Diego Padres back in January. But the influential impact left on Cespedes, by Bogaerts, remains in place for the up-and-coming shortstop.

“One of the reasons was because Xander was here,” Cespedes told reporters Tuesday, according to Christopher Smith of MassLive. “And another one is because I love Boston. I love the Red Sox.”

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A native of the Dominican Republic, Cespedes was named Boston’s Latin Program Position Player of the Year, honored alongside other Red Sox prospects before the team faced the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.

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Cespedes batted an impressive .346 with six home runs and 38 RBIs over the course of 191 at-bats this past season, playing 46 games in the Dominican Summer League. However, Cespedes isn’t satisfied with plenty left to improve on in the coming seasons as he works his way to the big league level.

“Definitely swing decisions is something I need to improve on because that aggressiveness makes me swing at pitches that might not be in the zone,” Cespedes explained, per Smith. “So that’s something to improve on and I’m already working on it.”

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Perhaps years from now the Red Sox will have more to thank Bogaerts for than the 2013 and 2018 World Series titles.

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images