The Arizona Fall League continues to go on in the shadow of the Major League Baseball playoffs. The Pittsburgh Pirates have a couple of prospects named to the league’s All Star game.
Here at Rum Bunter we have done a few updates on the 2019 Arizona Fall League. While the Pittsburgh Pirates are not playing meaningful games this October, they do have a few prospects who are out in Arizona. The Arizona Fall League is an annual league were a lot of baseball’s top prospects and close to MLB ready prospects go to compete and prove how good they are compared to the other top talent in the game.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have six prospects playing for the Peoria Javelinas, three pitchers (one starter and two relievers) and three hitters. The Pittsburgh Pirates will have two of their players participating in this weekend’s “Fall Stars” Game which will take place on Sunday.
Representing the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Fall Star game will be shortstop prospect Oneil Cruz and outfield prospect Jared Oliva. Oliva earned his way on to the roster with a monster first half for the Javelinas. Although the more notable prospect Cruz had to earn his way onto the roster via fan vote.
Cruz got off to a really slow start for Peoria, but has since bounced back nicely. After starting off hitting under .100 through his first few games, Cruz has since raised his overall batting average to .167 with 15 strikeouts in nine games. Over his last fives games he has improved his hitting to a .267 average, though he is still striking out too much by sitting down seven times in those games. Still, Cruz makes the game because of his potential, he is 6’7” and has some of the best raw power in baseball.
Oliva, on the other hand, is very deserving of making the game, and should start for the West team. He has been the most consistent hitter for not only the Javelinas but the in the entire AFL. He looks like one of those prospects who take his AFL opportunity and breaks out like many others have in the past.
Oliva is slashing .409/.526/.614, giving him an OPS over 1000. In his 13 games he is the leader for batting average in the league among players who have played more than 10 games. He has showed off good speed by swiping seven bags, but has also hit seven doubles and one triple, giving him over one extra base hit per game. Furthermore, he has only struck out eight times while walking 10 times.
Both Cruz and Oliva will play in the Fall Stars Game. The game is this Sunday and will be shown on MLB Network if Pittsburgh Pirates fans want to get a chance to see their two prospects. Oliva should be in the starting lineup with Cruz likely getting a pinch hit appearance later in the game.