01/19/12 9:58 AM EST
Cuban slugger Cespedes homers in winter ball
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
Cespedes, a highly touted 26-year-old Cuban defector who is seeking residency in the Dominican Republic, drilled a home run on Wednesday night, connecting for the first long ball of his six-game stint in the Dominican Winter League.
The outfielder, who cannot sign a free-agent contract with a Major League team until he has been granted residency in the Dominican, went hitless in his Dominican League debut. Five games later, however, Cespedes showed that he has shaken off some of the rust.
Playing for Aguilas, Cespedes pulled a 97-mph fastball from Houston prospect Rhiner Cruz over the fence in left field and then began a deliberate trek around the basepaths. Cespedes has batted .130 (3-for-23) with six strikeouts -- and one home run -- in six games for Aguilas.
The Marlins, Cubs, White Sox, Orioles, Tigers and Indians are believed to be among the teams interested in Cespedes.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.