#96- Oneil Cruz, Shortstop
Oneil Cruz came from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 Tony Watson trade between them and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cruz at the time was a big, projectable shortstop who had all the raw characteristics that a team could ask for but had not put it all together. However, he was just 18 years of age and was aggressively pushed to the Low-A level.
Well, last season, Cruz showed why the Pittsburgh Pirates wanted him from the Dodgers in the trade. The 6’6” shortstop had a breakout season last year with the Low-A West Virginia Power. Cruz put up a strong slash line of .286/.343/.488 with 14 home runs. He also cut back on his strikeouts big time. In 2017 he struck out 132 times in 105 games. This past season Cruz struck out 100 times in 103 games.
His season was cut short due to an injury. Still, he put up strong numbers at just 19 years of age against competition that was on average 2.5 years older than him. With a projectable frame, it looks like he is starting to put everything together at the plate, and it explains why he has now jumped in the Top 100 Prospects.