The Pittsburgh Pirates farm system loads at all levels, but these five prospects are expected to leave the MiLB and join the team in Pittsburgh for the upcoming season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have more than these 5 prospects expected to show up in big league uniform. These are some of the most anticipated players from the smaller leagues and are set to be part of Pittsburgh’s long-term plan. I’m sure you can guess almost all of these players, but they’re fun to talk about. Here are the 5 prospects who should contribute to some wins this season.
Shortstop Oneil Cruz
Oneil Cruz is currently Pittsburgh’s third-placed prospect and the MLB’s 52nd-placed prospect. The 22-year-old is prepared for the shortstop position. Cruz spent his season playing 3 levels of baseball, Double-A, Triple-A and the majors. With his 271 at-bats of the minor league season he reached .310 / .375 / .970 with 17 HR, 47 RBI and 19 SB. These 19 stolen bases are a huge part of his game and the pirates missed it. Pittsburgh stole 60 bases during the 2021 season, which ranked in the top 10 of the league, and only stole 16 in 2020, although it was a shortened season, Pittsburgh was still under 3 in the category. Oneil Cruz was supposed to steal some bases along with the other prospective buyers.
Cruz brings many elements from his game into the organization, which are absent in many places offensively and defensively. Cruz’s size makes him more likely to go line-outs that go over his head. Oneil Cruz made his MLB debut during the home stretch of the 2021 season, having already hit some of the first markers of his career and now he is not pressured to swing at every hit against the fences.