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Oneil Cruz Doesn’t Make the Cut

Oneil Cruz is the most exciting Pirate since Andrew McCutchen. Unfortunately, he’ll start 2022 in the minors.

Oneil Cruz Doesn’t Make the Cut

Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

To say I’m excited about Pirates baseball would be a lie. I’m excited that baseball season will be starting again because there’s truly nothing like it. But I am not excited about Pirates baseball in the least. Take a look at the pitching staff here. Can you honestly say you know anyone on there except for maybe Jose Quintana? Then scroll down and take a look at the rest of the roster. The Pirates have been toying with Bryan Reynolds so much this offseason it’s hard to even be excited for him. I feel bad for him! During the beginning of Spring Training we got a chance to look at someone maybe to get excited about – Oneil Cruz. In true Pirates fashion, of course he won’t crack the opening day lineup so there ya have it.

Who is Oneil Cruz?

Ok for those of you that may know him, let’s address the elephant in the room first. Back in 2020, Cruz was driving in the Dominican Republic and crashed into a motorcycle that did not have any of its lights on. Tragically, the crash killed 3 passengers on the motorcycle and Cruz was arrested. The assumption was that Cruz had been drinking but it was never proven so he was soon acquitted. After the justice system ran its course, he was brought up to play 2 games in the 2021 season for the Bucs. At 22 years old (and a small sample size) he showed he had flashes of something exciting to come for the Pirates foreseeable future. In those 2 games he went 3 for 9 with 1 home run and 3 RBIs, not bad!

Spring Training 2022

The talk of the team was that the 6’7 Cruz would likely switch from his native SS to play the outfield. From when he was drafted in 2015 until now, he has grown 6 inches! After a quick search, the tallest SS in MLB history was Cal Ripken Jr. at 6’4 so Cruz would have him beat by 3 more inches. In the Spring, he got off to a blistering start. The Pirates Instagram account was buzzing with some pretty impressive home runs from Cruz. Check this one out:

Dreads, a tip the cap when he crosses home plate, hitting dingers…remind you of anyone? His Spring Training ended with Cruz going 5-15, 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, and a .333 avg.

So yeah, I was excited to see someone who could actually play baseball wear the black and gold at the beginning of the season. Unfortunately due to service time manipulation (and maybe a chance for him to learn the OF), Cruz will begin the season in the minor leagues. I hope he crushes the ball down there so we get to see him soon but for now, it’s just the Pirates being the Pirates.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Jason moved to NYC for 9 years and gained a wife, a child, and career then decided to go back to the Steel City. A sports fan since birth, he follows the Pirates, Duquesne basketball, Pens, Steelers, and Pistons (Grant Hill would have been better than Jordan if he had stayed healthy...prove me wrong). He enjoys playing in various sports leagues and throwing his money away on fantasy sports. Besides that, a good book and video games for a day would be just fine with him.

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