Oscar De La Cruz
23-Year-Old PitcherRP
Chicago Cubs AA
Suspension
Est. Return 5/1/2019
2018 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Oscar De La Cruz in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a one-year contract with the Cubs in March of 2018.
Handed 80-game suspension
PChicago Cubs  AA
Suspension
July 6, 2018
De La Cruz has been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for a PED masking agent, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
One of the top prospects in a very weak farm system, De La Cruz tested positive for furosemide, and will miss the rest of 2018 (the Tennessee Smokies have 56 games left on their schedule) and roughly the first month of 2019. The 23-year-old righty is already on the 40-man roster, which may have led the Cubs to assigning him to Double-A a little before he was ready for the level. He has a 5.24 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 73 strikeouts in 77.1 innings this season. It would not be surprising to see him converted to a relief role at some point next season.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
Forearm soreness kept De La Cruz on the shelf until mid-July, but he was stellar across three stops, making the majority of his starts with Low-A South Bend. He gave up more than one run in just three of his nine starts and struck out six or more on six occasions despite never logging more than five innings. While De La Cruz is entering his age-22 season, he only has 198 innings of game pitching under his belt, as the Cubs converted him from shortstop to pitcher after signing him in 2012. His low-to-mid-90s fastball is a plus offering with late life that he commands well. An above-average curveball is his second best pitch. Given his lack of experience, it is not surprising that his changeup is still a work in progress, lagging behind the rest of his repertoire. His athletic 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame leads to projected gains in command and possibly velocity. De La Cruz has the ceiling of a No. 2 starter and floor of a setup man. Next up will be showing he can push 100 innings in a season.
The Cubs have an abundance of intriguing arms in the lower levels of the minor leagues, and while De La Cruz may not have the name recognition of Duane Underwood or Carson Sands, he belongs in that conversation. The 6-foot-4 Dominican righty posted a 2.84 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 73 strikeouts in 73 innings with short season Eugene as a 20-year-old, marking his second straight season with a sub-3.00 ERA in the lower levels. He upped his strikeout rate from 21.0% at rookie ball in 2014 to 25.2% in 2015, suggesting he has what it takes to be a mid-rotation starter in time. He was not heavily discussed prior to last season, so he could be an under-the-radar option for those looking to take a flier on a high-upside arm late in dynasty league drafts. If he impresses in his first full-season assignment with Low-A South Bend in 2016, De La Cruz could shoot up prospect lists.
More Fantasy News
Off to slow start at Double-A
PChicago Cubs  AA
April 18, 2018
Through his first two starts with Double-A Tennessee, De La Cruz is 0-2 with a 16.50 ERA across six innings of work.
ANALYSIS
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To open year at Double-A
PChicago Cubs  AA
March 9, 2018
De La Cruz will open the year at Double-A Tennessee, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
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Appears healthy in spring
PChicago Cubs  AA
February 26, 2018
De La Cruz (pectoral) tossed a scoreless, nine-pitch ninth inning in Saturday's 6-1 Cactus League victory over the Rangers. He struck out one and walked one.
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Added to 40-man roster
PChicago Cubs  AA
Pectoral
November 20, 2017
De La Cruz was added to the Cubs' 40-man roster Monday and will be protected from the Rule 5 draft.
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Removed from AFL
PChicago Cubs  AA
Pectoral
September 19, 2017
De La Cruz was removed from action in the Arizona Fall League in order to rehab his minor pectoral injury, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports.
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