Baseball America released their top ten list of potential breakouts among international players and the Pittsburgh Pirates Michael de la Cruz made the list. The 17-year-old center fielder was ranked #20 in our 2014 Prospect Guide, the first international player that made our top 50 list before playing in the United States since Luis Heredia.
Baseball America calls him “one of the most exciting players in the Dominican Summer League in 2013″ and they say his skills should transfer over well to the Gulf Coast League this season. They praised his plus speed, plate patience and believe he has the ability to stick in center field.
De la Cruz was signed by the Pirates in July of 2012 for a $700,000 bonus. He hit .292/.436/.367 in his rookie season in 2013, drawing 58 walks in 62 games. He is a potential five tool player, who already has an advanced feel at the plate. He was also named as our top international prospect to watch this past season.