31-Year-Old Catcher – Cincinnati Reds
2018 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Tony Cruz in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Tony Cruz Contract Information:
Signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training, with the Reds in December of 2017.
Cruz signed a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training with Cincinnati on Wednesday.
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Tony Cruz: MLB Games Played By Position
Tony Cruz Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Tony Cruz Defensive Stats
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Cincinnati Reds Roster
MajorsBailey, Homer (P)
AAAAllen, Brandon (1B)
AAAquino, Aristides (OF)
A+Collymore, Malik (OF)
ASantillan, Tony (P)
RookieCase, Cash (SS)
Tony Cruz: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Tony Cruz.
Cruz has made a career out of being a backup catcher in the majors. Heading into 2016, he'd averaged 52 games per season and tended to keep his batting average just around the .200 mark. However, 2016 saw him slide down the organizational depth chart, and he spent almost the entirety of the season at Triple-A Omaha, where he hit .264/.347/.387 to go along with a .321 BABIP. Although he played just four games with the big club, Cruz signed with the Padres on a minor league deal over the offseason, which could offer him a bit more time at the major league level down the road. However, with Austin Hedges lined up for the bulk of the playing time, Cruz's upside is negligible at best if he manages to land a roster spot in San Diego.
Cruz had carved out a nice role behind Yadier Molina as the Cardinals' backup catcher. Over the last four seasons, Cruz has totaled between 123 at-bats and 142 at-bats each year. Unfortunately, he landed in the about the worst spot possible for potential playing time with an offseason move to Kansas City, which also has Drew Butera behind the ever-durable Salvador Perez. Thus, Cruz's fantasy value is and will remain virtually non-existent. He knows the game and is good with pitchers, making him a good fit on a real-life baseball team in his role as a backup, but he is a career .220/.262/.310 hitter with just five home runs in 591 at-bats.
Cruz served as Yadier Molina's primary backup for the majority of the 2014 season, hitting .200/.270/.259 in 135 at-bats and providing no fantasy value in the process. There's a good chance he'll return to the same role for the Cardinals in 2015, as he's good with pitchers and plays defense an acceptable level. Even if that happens, Cruz won't be anything more than roster depth for the organization as he brings almost no offense to the table, indicated by a career .225 batting average and an .085 ISO.
Cruz was able to get into 51 games last season but totaled just 129 plate appearances before missing a few weeks late in the season with a stress fracture in his forearm. He's a solid defensive catcher and works well with the Cardinals' pitching staff, but he's unlikely to ever be more than just a backup, especially in St. Louis. Yadier Molina may require a few more days off in 2014 than he has in the past, but Cruz seems unlikely to receive much more than a start per week even with Molina's reduced workload.
Cruz spent the whole season in the bigs for the first time in his career last year. Playing behind Yadier Molina is a pretty easy gig - play once or twice a week, maybe catch a few relievers in the bullpen, bat .250, get a lot of money. Molina was injured a little bit more than usual last season, so Cruz made 51 appearances in 2012, but with no power, no speed, and no upside in batting average, he's not even worth a look in the deepest of leagues. Look for Cruz to have a similar role again in 2013, albeit with fewer chances to play if Molina avoids injury.
Called up in May, Cruz made quite a splash by banging out three hits in his major league debut and getting two more a few days later. The rest of the way, however, he hit just .211 and slugged .263, perhaps indicating that he's not quite ready for big-league play. As Yadier Molina's top backup, he's not going to get the playing time that makes him fantasy relevant, even if he could hit, but his .733 OPS in 400 minor league games seems to indicate that he cannot.
Added to 40-man roster in November, 2010.