Oneil Cruz Stats
- Height / Weight
- 6' 7" / 220 lbs.
- Date of Birth (Age)
- 10/4/1998 (25)
Oneil Cruz Season Stats
Last 10 Games
Oneil Cruz News
Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz (ankle) has appeared in instructional games this offseason in the Dominican Republic. "Watching his at-bats made me smile," manager Derek Shelton said. Cruz is rehabbing from a fractured left ankle that he suffered way back in early April that knocked him out for the rest of the 2023 season. As long as the 25-year-old doesn't encounter any setbacks this winter or next spring, he should be ready for Opening Day as Pittsburgh's starting shortstop with a bunch of fantasy upside. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound Dominican has impressive power and speed at a premium position, but he has also yet to play more than 87 games in a single season in his three years in the majors to this point. In 98 career games, he's hit .237 with 19 home runs, 61 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 410 plate appearances.
Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz (ankle) is in Florida rehabbing his surgically repaired left ankle. He has been hitting, running and throwing and has even played in some simulated game action. General manager Ben Cherington said winter ball in the Dominican Republic is something the team is considering for Cruz, and a decision could be made in the coming days. "Based on all the information I have right now, yes," Cherington said when asked if he still expects Cruz to be 100 percent and ready by the start of spring training in 2024. The 25-year-old should open the 2024 regular season as Pittsburgh's regular shortstop, barring any setbacks this winter.
Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton said on 93.7 The Fan on Tuesday that shortstop Oneil Cruz (ankle) will not return this year, which doesn't come as a surprise considering the fact that Cruz had yet to begin a minor-league rehab assignment. Cruz had surgery early in the season to fix a fractured left fibula and had some setbacks during the rehab process. Barring more setbacks in the offseason, the 24-year-old should be fully ready for the start of spring training next year. Despite playing in only nine games in 2023, Cruz has plenty of long-term fantasy appeal at a premium position in Pittsburgh. In 98 games played in his three years in the big leagues, he's hit .237 (54-for-372) with 19 home runs, 61 RBI, 13 stolen bases and 54 runs scored.
Cruz has more launch velocity highlights than actual Major League success in his young career, but we can find plenty of positives from what he did in 2022. He hit 17 homers in 361 plate appearances for a great home run rate of 21.2 PA/HR, and he swiped 11 bags. That extrapolates to an easy 30-20 season for the big man, which is very useful for the roto leagues. The problem, of course, is the massive strikeout rate (34.9%) which keeps his batting average quite low (.233 last year). The lineup around him doesn't do him any favors either, as the Pirates once again project to be a bottom-ten offense in the league. We can't really talk about Cruz without mentioning his game-breaking upside. No other hitter in the league have the absurd power and speed combination that he possesses. If he can bring the strikeout rate below 30%, he would probably hit .250 or so and would put up close to first-round production with the power and steals alone. He's a special talent, and could someday be a guy you take with the #1 overall pick in fantasy, but it's more likely that his strikeout rate and the offense around him keep him short of his #70 ADP in 2023.