Within minutes of each other at different levels in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system, two highly-regarded prospects hit massive home runs
On Wednesday night Oneil Cruz, the 3rd ranked prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system according to MLB Pipeline, hit a 3-run home run that propelled the game against the Bowie Baysox, the Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, into extra innings where the Curve fell short of a victory. Cruz sent the ball 462 feet into orbit on a 3-2 count with two outs, it was like a moment that every kid dreams about.
Cruz’s 2021 season is impressive. In 61 games played this season Cruz will have a year that resembles his 2019 MiLB season. Cruz is hitting for a .286/.341/.527 12 home runs, 40 RBI, 18 stolen bases, and is expected to be called up in 2022, along with teammate Roansy Contreras. Cruz is supposed to be the starting shortstop starting in the near future, but due to his 6’7″ frame, he began an experimental run in the outfield but it hasn’t necessarily worked out.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have many shortstop and outfield prospects in all levels of their minor teams, but I think it’s safe to say the Pirates should keep Cruz at shortstop, at least until other prospects develop more.
Endy Rodriguez hit the same 3-run home run on the same Wednesday night to help secure the a victory for the Low-A Bradenton Marauders by a score of 6-1 over the Lakeland Flying Tigers, the Low-A affiliate of the Detriot Tigers. Rodriguez’s power has improved this season and he has been on an offensive streak since August.
Endy is batting .310 in September and has belted 4 home runs and 17 RBI as well in the month so far, including .365 on-base percentage. Rodgriguez is looking like a great candidate to be promoted and join fellow catcher Henry Davis in Greensboro, Pittsburgh’s High-A affiliate. The 19th-ranked Pirates prospect is currently 21-years-old and on the rise, Henry Davis and Endy Rodriguez will make one heck of a backstop combo.