Pittsburgh Pirates: Oneil Cruz Should be Promoted to Finish 2021

Mar 3, 2021; Port Charlotte, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz (61) throws the ball for an out during the fourth inning at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2021; Port Charlotte, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz (61) throws the ball for an out during the fourth inning at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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With four games remaining in the 2021 MLB season the Pittsburgh Pirates should giving slugging shortstop prospect Oneil Cruz his first taste of MLB action

Despite the Pittsburgh Pirates suffering a 3-2 loss against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night it was an exciting night for the Pirates and their fans. This was due to highly touted pitching prospect Roansy Contreras making his MLB debut on Wednesday night.

In his debut Contreras pitched 3 scoreless innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The righty allowed just 3 hits, walked a batter and struck out 4. Even though the Pirates lost the game seeing Contreras looked poised, calm, cool, and collected on the mound, all while flashing his plus, top of the rotation stuff was an exciting glimpse into the team’s future.

With the 2021 season set to come to an end against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates should give their fans another glimpse into the future. This glimpse should come with the promotion of another highly touted prospect. The prospect who should be promoted is slugging shortstop Oneil Cruz.

Wednesday night Cruz hit a monster opposite field home run with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. This gave Cruz 4 home runs in 5 games played with the Indians. It was also his second opposite field shot since being promoted.

Cruz’s home run on Wednesday night also had soem clutchness to it as it was a game tying home run in the bottom of the 9th inning. This home run sparked a 5-4 come from behind victory for the Indians.

In the Indianapolis victory Cruz was 4-for-5 with this home run, a double, 2 RBI and he scored twice. He is now 10-for-19 with 4 home runs, a double, 5 RBI and 5 walks in 24 plate appearances at the Triple-A level.

With Cruz raking at Triple-A the Pittsburgh Pirates should give him an opportunity to finish the 2021 season at the Major League level. Doing this will give Cruz the opportunity to spend time around the Major League club and to face MLB pitching for the first time in his career.

Promoting Cruz would cause some excitement around the Pirates in the final weekend of the season. It would also give Cruz the opportunity to continue to push to crack the Opening Day roster in 2022.

While Cruz making the 2022 Opening Day roster may be a long shot it should 100% be on the table. Shortstop is not a position that is exactly locked down on the Pirate roster, Cruz could also serve as the team’s designated hitter, assuming the universal DH is added in the CBA this offseason, as well as playing right field.

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Cruz has a higher power potential than almost anyone in the Pirate farm system. He deserves to be able to flash this at the Major League level starting on Opening Day 2022. Before this, Cruz should be promoted to Pittsburgh to get at-bats against MLB pitching to finish off the 2021 season.

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