Following Sunday’s win over the San Francisco Giants, manager Derek Shelton announced the Pittsburgh Pirates are calling up the organization’s top prospect shortstop Oneil Cruz to the Majors. Cruz struggled early into the Triple-A season, but as of late, he has turned it on. With a .176 average after the first month of baseball, Cruz has now bumped his average to .233.
Over the last 28 days, Cruz has carried a slash line of .301/.377/.562 with an OPS of .938. The Pirates general manager Ben Cherington discussed Cruz during his radio show on Sunday and even discussed how close Cruz was to get the call.
“[Cruz is close; he’s really, really close; we will see what happens in the next few days,” said Cherington. “We think Cruz can play shortstop, and when he comes to the Major Leagues, I’d think that’s where we see him play more often than not.”
Cherington also commented on Cruz playing in the outfield, saying that adding the outfield was just to add another “arrow in his quiver.” The 6 foot 7 slugger has shown easy power during his time in the Pirates’ system and has nine home runs on the season in Triple-A.
The addition of Cruz to the Pirates lineup adds much-needed power, and we are starting to see an entire youth movement with Cal Mitchel, Diego Castillo, Jack Suwinski, and many others with the big league club. The next question is, who gets optioned to Indianapolis? The obvious answer is Liover Peguero, but we shall see.