Prior to this season, we rated Michael de la Cruz as the 20th best prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates system and with good reason, he put up extremely impressive numbers in the DSL last year. That led to praise from scouts that saw him play, which put him atop our top DSL prospects list and Baseball America mentioned him as one of the top 20 players from the DSL/VSL last year. He was also named as a possible International breakout prospect by Ben Badler. De la Cruz made the jump to the GCL this year and the results have not been good at all.
De la Cruz is having a tough first season in the United States.
Last year in the DSL, de la Cruz had a .292 average, drew 58 walks and had an .804 OPS. Much of that was done before his 17th birthday. He stole 14 bases and showed strong defense in center field. He didn't hit any homers, but he was considered a potential five-tool prospect, with power being the one questionable tool, though he should still be able to reach double digits once he...
John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.