Pittsburgh Pirates: Projecting Team’s Lineup by the End of 2022

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Jul 18, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz (61) runs the base against the Cleveland Indians during the seventh inning at PNC Park. The Indians won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Right Field – Oneil Cruz

The Pittsburgh Pirates will likely move Oneil Cruz to a different position. Aside from Diego Castillo, the Pirates have a ton of other shortstop prospects such as Liover Peguero, Ji-Hwan Bae, Maikol Escotto, Tucupcita Marcano, Hoy Park, and potentially Bubba Chandler. The team has already gotten him familiar with the position. He played some there during Spring Training and has gotten stretched out there at Double-A.

Cruz has huge power potential. The 6’7″, 210-pound slugger has hit .289/.349/.538 with a .381 wOBA, and 137 wRC+. So far, it’s arguably been his best season yet with single-season career-high marks in wOBA, wRC+, ISO, and OPS. Though he has walked just 7.9% of the time, he’s only struck out in 22.6% of his trips to the plate.

Cruz has a 60-future game power grade and 80-raw power grade. He’s able to leverage his huge frame in order to generate the amount of raw power he has. Though he only has a 35-grade hit tool, he’s hit well at every level. Just hasn’t walked very much, nor has he struck out a ton either.

Cruz is fast enough to play an outfield spot. He also has an incredibly strong arm, one that FanGraphs sees as an 80-grade tool. Cruz, at best, is an average defender at shortstop. Though his athleticism and hands at shortstop should play fine in right field.