Oneil Cruz
20-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
Pittsburgh Pirates A+
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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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Provides fireworks against Phillies
3BPittsburgh Pirates  A+
March 23, 2019
Cruz went 1-for-3 with a homer in Saturday's win over Philadelphia.
The tape-measure blast came off a pitch from the Phillies' Zach Eflin. The 20-year-old, who also turned a pair of nifty double plays Saturday, slashed .286/.343/.488 with 14 homers and 11 stolen bases for Low-A Bradenton in 2018. He's one of Pittsburgh's top prospects but likely remains a long ways away from making his potential major-league debut. General manager Neal Huntington said during Saturday's game that the organization plans on keeping the 6-foot-6 Dominican at shortstop despite his height, at least for the time being. Given Cruz's blend of speed and power, there's a good chance he moves up fantasy rankings quickly. He's expected to play for High-A Bradenton in 2019.
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More Fantasy News
Dealing with groin strain
3BPittsburgh Pirates  A+
August 30, 2018
Cruz hasn't played for Low-A West Virginia since Aug. 13 due to a mild groin strain, Adam Berry of reports.
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Named Sally League Player of Month for June
3BPittsburgh Pirates  A+
July 13, 2018
Cruz, 19, was named the South Atlantic League Player of the Month for June.
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Sent to Pittsburgh
3BPittsburgh Pirates  A+
July 31, 2017
Cruz was traded to the Pirates along with Angel German in exchange for lefty Tony Watson on Monday, Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
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Adjusting to life in professional baseball
3BLos Angeles Dodgers  A+
June 15, 2017
Cruz is slashing .246/.287/.326 in his first taste of professional baseball with Low-A Great Lakes.
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