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Pirates Prospect Watch: Omar Cruz Finding Success In AFL

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Pirates Prospects

For the first time in his four years of professional baseball, Pittsburgh Pirates left-handed pitching prospect Omar Cruz didn’t have a successful regular season.

In 23 games (five starts) with Double-A Altoona this year, Cruz went 3-3 with a 5.09 ERA.

The 23-year-old, who historically has featured excellent command, issued 28 walks in 62.2 innings, finishing the year with 4.02 BB/9.

The other hiccup for Cruz was that he yielded too many home runs, serving up nine round-trippers on the year.

Cruz did have to deal with an elbow injury which sidelined him for two months, which could be another reason for his down year in 2022.

Because of the missed time, the Pirates decided to send their southpaw to the Arizona Fall League.

With the Surprise Saguaros, Cruz is looking more like the pitcher he has historically been throughout his minor league career.

So far, the only issue for the left-hander is again free passes, as Cruz has walked six in 7.2 innings across four frames.

Other than that? Smooth sailing.

So far with the Saguaros, Cruz is 1-0 and has allowed just one run. He’s punched out six batters and has held hitters to a .167 batting average against (4 for 24).

Surely the Pirates want to see Cruz improve his current command and control issues, but they have to be pleased with how he has performed so far this fall.

For his minor league career, Cruz is 12-14 with a 3.42 ERA in 260.1 innings across 67 appearances/48 starts. He has struck out 302 batters.

The Pirates acquired Cruz from the San Diego Padres as part of the return for pitcher Joe Musgrove.

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