Pirates' Oneil Cruz: Named Sally League Player of Month for June
Cruz, 19, was named the South Atlantic League Player of the Month for June.
After coming over from the Dodgers in a trade deadline deal last season, Cruz has emerged as a top prospect in the Pirates' system. He improved his contact rate significantly this year, as he's currently hitting the ball 14 percent more than last season with Low-A West Virginia. Interestingly, this increased contact rate hasn't sapped his power either, as he has 11 home runs and 17 doubles. This has helped him produce a .296/.355/.497 slash line through 81 games with the Power this season. Cruz's defense is still pretty rough however, as he tallied a whopping 27 errors at shortstop already. Given this, scouts tend to think he'll either end up at third base or a corner outfield spot. Either way, his bat will play at any of those positions, and his arm is strong enough to succeed around the diamond. It's tough to see him making a big leap in the organization this season, but if he can continue mashing at the plate, he could get up to Double-A or Triple-A by the end of the 2019 season.
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