Pittsburgh Pirates: Ranking the Prospects Acquired This Offseason

Sep 5, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Miguel Yajure (89) delivers in the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 5, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Miguel Yajure (89) delivers in the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 14: A detalied view of a Pittsburgh Pirates hat and catching glove is seen on the dugout steps during the MLB game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 14, 2019 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Pirates 7-4. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /

Omar Cruz

The third piece coming from the Padres was in the Musgrove trade was left-hander Omar Cruz, who now ranks as the Bucs’ best left-handed pitching prospect. Cruz was signed out of Mexico in 2017 and has so far put up strong numbers throughout his minor league career.

In 98.1 innings, Cruz has posted a 2.38 ERA, 2.13 FIP and 1.23 WHIP. Cruz has impressively allowed just a single home run, that coming at Low-A in 2019. He didn’t allow a single home run through his first 49.1 innings. He also has a strong 32.5% strikeout rate. Cruz didn’t show great control in his first professional season with a 12% walk rate in 2018, but saw that decrease to 8.2% the following season.

The southpaw uses a three pitch mix to get outs. Among his three offerings, his curveball is seen as the best by MLB Pipeline coming in with a 55-grade. He throws this pitch with over-the-top action, according to Pipeline. Despite the high strikeout totals, Cruz isn’t an overpowering pitcher, His four seam fastball only in the low-90’s. He’ll also throw a change-up and both are seen as average with 50-grades. He also has plus control that has been given a 55-grade.

Cruz only projects as a back of the rotation starter, but he’s been great in the minors so far. However, if he can continue that strikeout rate and maybe add a tick of velocity, he could end up better than some project. If that doesn’t work out, then he could be a solid bullpen piece.

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