One of the Pittsburgh Pirates top prospects was promoted to the Double-A level on Sunday
The Major League Baseball trade deadline is just two days away. Two years ago on the July 31st trade deadline the Pittsburgh Pirates traded left-handed reliever Tony Watson to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In return the Pirates received Angel German and Oneil Cruz.
At the time, both German and Cruz looked like fliers. This made sense as Watson was set to hit free agency and was having the worst season of his career. However, since joining the Pirate organization Cruz has done nothing but hit. This has turned him into one of the Pirates top prospects, as well as one of the top 100 prospects in baseball.
The left-handed slugger was turned into one of the top shortstop prospects in baseball. Although, his long term future may be at another position. At 6-foot-6, 175 pounds it could be difficult for the 20-year-old Cruz to stick at shortstop long term.
In 2018 Cruz slashed .286/.343/.488 with 14 home runs, a 134 wRC+, .201 ISO, and a 10.4% extra base hit rate at the Low-A level. This led to Cruz starting the 2019 season with the High-A Bradenton Marauders. Despite missing time due to injury, Cruz still collected 7 home runs in just 134 High-A at bats. He slashed .306/.336/.522 with a .216 ISO and a 10.4% extra base hit rate for the Marauders.
After his strong showing at High-A, Cruz was promoted to the Double-A level on Sunday. He now joins Cody Bolton as one of the team’s top prospects that have been promoted to Double-A Altoona this season.
It will be intriguing to watch what Cruz does with Altoona. Since becoming a Pirate prospect Cruz has done nothing but mash. He is now ready to face Double-A pitching for the first time in his career. Hopefully, his offensive success will follow him to Double-A.