Winter Leagues: Oneil Cruz Homers

Here’s a look at the winter league action from around the globe for members of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The crazy minor league rule 5 draft took away Jared Oliva, Cristian Charle and Enmanuel Mejia from our winter coverage. However, it also added a player, as you will see below.

In the Dominican, Oneil Cruz got over a mild case of the flu and returned to the lineup. He went 2-for-3 with his second homer, a single, a walk and two RBIs (see video below). He is 8-for-26, with a double, two homers and six walks in eight games.

Miguel Andujar went 1-for-4 with a single and a run scored. He has a .293 average and a .765 OPS in 14 games.

In Puerto Rico, Tsung-Che Cheng went 2-for-4 with two singles and a walk. He’s 4-for-12 in four games.

Brad Case allowed two hits and two walks in one inning of work, but he didn’t allow any runs. He has allowed two runs in 11 innings this winter.

Will Kobos tossed a scoreless inning to pick up the win. He had no hits or walks and two strikeouts. He has allowed one run in 9.2 innings, while picking up 13 strikeouts.

Josh Palacios was picked up in the minor league Rule 5 draft. He just started playing winter ball. He went 0-for-5 on Wednesday, leaving him 2-for-15 with a walk.

Here’s the Cruz homer

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Most of his homeruns look effortless but the Cruz homerun in this article looks like he was trying to swing hard.


IMO, the easy swings are on balls out over the plate or a little outside where he is emphasizing making good contact. The one in the video could not have been any better than if it was on a T. A bit inside and he was able to turn on it. No distance noted, but the wall was 385′.

In only 26 AB he is 308/441/577/1.018 OPS, with 6 Walks, 6K’s, 1 HBP, and 1 SF. Interesting to see who the Tigres signed to play SS in addition to Oneil Cruz. Elly De La Cruz, 21, #14 on the MLB Top 100/#1 for Cincy, and Ronny Mauricio, 21, #6 Prospect of the Mets. Mauricio has already played 41 games for the Tigres and his contract may have ended. Cruz is playing SS for them now.


I had a dream last night that this was our 2023 opening day line up and starting rotation:
1. Bae 2nd base
2. Hayes 3rd base
3. Reynolds Cf
4. Conforto Rf
5. Cruz Ss
6. Santana Dh
7. Drury Lf
8. Sean Murphy C
9. Choi 1b
1. Contreras
2. Ross Stripling
3. Keller
4. Mike Lorenzen
5. Corey Kluber
Please, Ben, make this dream come true lol!! he’d say KEEP DREAMING ASSHOLE!! WISH IN ONE HAND AND SHIT IN THE OTHER AND SEE WHAT YOU GET!!!


Dreaming about it, you need help! Do me a favor if you find help please refer them to me!!!!


The amount of advertising that comes out of the announcer’s mouth is almost incomprehensible. It’s like almost Every other sentence!


Nice crowd at the game, lol.


I enjoy seeing cruz’s 6 walks in 32 ABs, also excited to follow cheng in PR



Si, Cruz es el monstro!



I think that translates to “Cruz is one bad MoFo!”


Tu espanol es bien.

b mcferren

tower of power

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