During the 2012 July 2nd signing period, the Pittsburgh Pirates gave out two $700,000 bonuses, one to center fielder Michael de la Cruz, and another to third baseman Julio de la Cruz. Despite the same last name and equal bonuses, the two are not related. Both are on the same path towards the Majors, spending all of last season in the DSL, then moving to the GCL this year. When they signed, Julio was considered the better of the two prospects, but he struggled and Michael took off.

Even coming into this season, Michael had the advantage, as Julio wasn't on the Minor League Spring Training roster. Instead, he went back to the Pirates Dominican Academy and earned his way back by performing well over there. So far early in the season, Julio de la Cruz is holding his own in the GCL, posting ...

To celebrate the upcoming MLB draft, we’re offering a big subscription discount of 18% off from now through the draft , so that you can follow all of our updates and coverage.To get the discount, use the code MLBDRAFT for an Annual subscription, or MLBDRAFT3 for a Top Prospect Plan.

To continue reading the rest of this article, subscribe to Pirates Prospects. Subscribers get access to every article on the site, along with all of our exclusive live coverage of the Pirates' minor league system, all for a very low monthly or yearly rate.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail tim@piratesprospects.com.