UPDATE 11:59 AM: The Pirates officially announce the move, via press release. Also in the release is a statement from Rene Gayo:
“We are very excited to sign Michael. He is a young player with now tools that are still developing. He is also an instinctive and aggressive performer with a very strong opportunity to be a five-tool player. I want to thank and congratulate Scouting Supervisor Juan Mercado and our staff for doing such a fine job on the acquisition of this player.”
11:27 AM: The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed center fielder Michael DeLaCruz for $700,000, Pirates Prospects has learned. De La Cruz is from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, and is a lefty/lefty outfielder. The bonus given to DeLaCruz matches the bonus given to Julio DeLaCruz (no relation between the two), who received $700,000 on July 3rd.
Michael has the chance to be a five tool outfielder. He put up 6.47 to 6.50 60-yard dash times as a runner at the age of 15. In a game, he’s a 4.0 runner to first, and 11 seconds from home to third. All of those times put his speed as a 70 runner on the 20-80 scale. His arm and defense grade out as a 60 currently on the 20-80 scale, with room for improvement in the future.
DeLaCruz is a line drive, extra base hitter, but has the potential for 20-25 home run power down the line. He’s 16 years old, and is 6′ 0″, 175 pounds.