Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz impressed in 2022 with his physical characteristics and, in the second half, with his actual performance.
In his first full season in the majors, he hit .233/.294/.450 with 17 home runs, 11 stolen bases and a .744 OPS.
He started the year on a slump but got better as the year progressed – all eyes will be on him in 2023 as he has more experience handling MLB-caliber breaking balls.
He set the record for the hardest-hit ball in the Statcast era and also for the fastest field goal – showing off his enormous raw power, arm and speed.
Cruz has it all.
After laying off for a few weeks, Cruz has been in uniform for the popular Dominican club Tigres del Licey in the Dominican League (Lidom).
He left us another reminder of his enormous raw power.
“Things you love to see: Oneil Cruz triumphing in the Dominican Winter League,” MLB tweeted.
Things you love to see: Oneil Cruz triumphing in the Dominican Winter League. pic.twitter.com/AMM6rZ3zgA
-MLB (@MLB) November 29, 2022
Watch the video – it was an effortless swing, and he managed to send it over the fence!
Cruz is a special player
This kid is really something special.
It was his first home run in the Dominican League this year, but he has only played in four games.
He got his OPS up to .820.
He has four hits: three singles and the tape measure home run.
Having someone like Cruz playing in the Dominican League is a real luxury for the circuit: he is the type of player who puts on a show all by himself.
If he’s healthy and keeps improving, it’s not out of the question that he could hit 30-35 home runs a day while stealing 20 bases.
He’s that good, and he’s the Pirates’ best hope for the future.
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