Oneil Cruz
21-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Likely the tallest Double-A shortstop ever, the 6-foot-7 Cruz should be commended for not having to move off the position yet, but that still feels like an inevitability. His bat will profile anywhere if he reaches his ceiling. Unsurprisingly, given his size, he could develop 70-grade power. The big question is whether he will make enough contact against MLB pitchers to get to that power with any consistency. Since 1980, only six hitters 6-foot-6 or taller have had sustained success, so betting against Cruz has its merits. He had a 28.5 K% in 84 games at High-A, Double-A and the Arizona Fall League (he missed two months with a broken foot) but didn't turn 21 until October. Cruz is an excellent athlete and could steal 10-15 bases early in his career. We probably won't know for a couple years if his hit tool will play in the majors, but he could have an Aaron Judge-esque offensive profile if it all clicks. Read Past Outlooks
Protected from Rule 5 draft
3BPittsburgh Pirates
November 20, 2019
Cruz was added to the Pirates' 40-man roster Wednesday.
Cruz is one of the Pirates' top prospects, so it's no surprise to see the team protect him from the Rule 5 draft. The 21-year-old split 2019 between High-A and Double-A, posting a .298/.356/.475 slash line.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Oneil Cruz
Minor League Barometer: Risers & Fallers
176 days ago
Jesse Siegel returns with his search for the next big major-league call-up and also covering the statistical situations for a few up-and-comers.
Minor League Barometer: Risers & Fallers
261 days ago
Jesse Siegel analyzes the latest happenings in the minor leagues, including the tough start to the season for Twins prospect Royce Lewis.
Farm Futures: NL Central: 105 Prospects You Need To Know
336 days ago
James Anderson sifts through the increasingly thin organizations in the NL Central but notes that there are still some gems, such as the Reds' Nick Senzel.
Farm Futures: Third Base Tiers
345 days ago
James Anderson reviews the top prospects at the hot corner, where Vladimir Guerrero Jr. sits head and shoulders above the competition.
Farm Futures: Ranking the Farm Systems
August 2, 2018
James Anderson unveils his second annual farm system rankings and is a little surprised at how high Vlad Guerrero Jr. and the Blue Jays have risen.
2019 Fantasy Outlook
While Cruz may eventually change positions, the fact remains he was a full-time shortstop in a repeat of Low-A, despite standing 6-foot-6 (roughly 180 pounds). There is no precedent for a player his size sticking up the middle, so let's assume he will move to a corner -- his 80-grade arm would fit nicely at third base or in right field. Despite repeating the level, Cruz was one of the youngest players in the Sally League, where his 134 wRC+ ranked sixth and his .201 ISO ranked 10th. His 22.6 K% was impressive, and his 50-grade speed led to 11 steals on 16 attempts. Of players who debuted in 1980 or later, Richie Sexson, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Corey Hart, Adam Dunn and Darryl Strawberry are the only position players 6-foot-6 or taller who have had prolonged success. Cruz has the same carrying tool (huge raw power) as those players and could join that group if he makes enough contact, but it's important to note how rare it would be.
More Fantasy News
Shows skills Monday
3BPittsburgh Pirates
August 20, 2019
Cruz went 1-for-3 with a pair of stolen bases against Double-A Hartford on Monday.
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Struggling early after promotion
3BPittsburgh Pirates
August 6, 2019
Cruz, who was promoted to Double-A Altoona on July 30, has gone 5-for-26 (.192 average) with a 2:8 BB:K in his first eight games with the affiliate.
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Back in action Sunday
3BPittsburgh Pirates
June 30, 2019
Cruz (foot) went 2-for-5 with a double and two runs against Fort Myers on Sunday.
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Set to accelerate rehab
3BPittsburgh Pirates
June 20, 2019
Cruz (foot) appears on track to accelerate his rehab program and build up toward a return to game action in 7-to-10 days, Adam Berry of reports.
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Making progress in rehab
3BPittsburgh Pirates
May 23, 2019
Cruz (foot) was recently cleared to resume full weight-bearing activities, Adam Berry of reports.
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