Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect: Oneil Cruz Ranked as a Top 15 Prospect
The Pittsburgh Pirates need their top prospects to become impact players. It looks like they could have one on the cusp of being an everyday player.
Last year, Pittsburgh Pirates fans got a taste of a prospect that could become the centerpiece of this team’s lineup for years to come. Toward the end of the season, the Pittsburgh Pirates called up one of their top-hitting prospects in Oneil Cruz. Cruz had put together a really impressive Minor League season and definitely deserved the promotion. Not to mention it gave fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates something to actually be excited about.
Well, fans should stay excited. Cruz, who was already considered a consensus Top 100 prospect, has received his most impressive ranking yet. Baseball America has posted their Top 100 prospects for the 2022 season. Of course, there are 5 other Pittsburgh Pirates prospects ranked on the list.
So where did Cruz rank? Well according to Baseball America’s updated list Cruz is the t#14 ranked prospect in the game. This is obviously impressive being that there are only 13 prospects ranked ahead of him. This includes pitchers, hitters, and prospects from every level of the Minor Leagues. Taking out the pitchers listed in front of him and Cruz would be a Top 10 hitting prospect in Baseball in BA’s eyes. Here is part of Baseball America’s rationale behind the ranking:
"The 6-foot-7 Cruz is already the tallest player to ever start a major league game at shortstop. Regardless of whether he stays there, his immense power that produces elite exit velocities at the plate projects to make him an impact player the Pirates can build with."
The question now is whether or not Cruz will be on the Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day roster. I would like to think that he has a legitimate shot especially if he puts together an impressive Spring. Although, there is of course the issue of service time. That could be an issue of the past however if a new CBA establishes a new way to get these young prospects into the Big Leagues rather than having their service time manipulated. Regardless, we will see Cruz in Pittsburgh at some point this year.