I want to toot my own horn for a second, but only so that our readers know that every now and again, I know what I am talking about.
This is from a piece in March before the MLB season started, where I discussed fantasy baseball sleepers that I thought people should be hunting for. Oneil Cruz was one of my favorite picks.
"Cruz probably wouldn't get too much time in the majors for a different team, but the Pirates decided to cut their payroll down to "lower than Hade's low" so their top prospects are going to get playing time. Cruz was listed as the 51st overall prospect in the majors. He has a good combination of power and speed, even at his 6'7 frame. Just a few days ago he hit a home run in spring training that hasn't landed yet. He could easily be a 25/25 guy with home runs and steals."
I knew this kid was going to be special, and if his debut is any indication, I may be right.
Cruz'in To A Grand Debut
When the lowly Pirates took on their division rival Cubs, the new kid(s) brought out the bats. How's this for a debut? Cruz went 2-5 with 4 RBI including a 3-run double that blew the game open. He also had the hardest-tracked throw by an infielder this season. Look at this laser.
At 6'7, it is hard to see Cruz playing long-term shortstop. This is not a certainty, as players have changed the game before and disproven expert opinions. Still, his athletic ability over at shortstop is impressive for a man of his frame.
Standing that tall, it's easy to see just another big player, but Cruz's most noticeable characteristic is the smile and fun he has playing the game.
Keep having fun out there, Mr. Cruz. We're all having fun watching.