There were no games involving any Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, but we have an interesting article to share from the Dominican, as well as a highlight from Mexico.
Oneil Cruz gave an interview to the local media in the Dominican (link is in Spanish). He’s playing shortstop for Leones de Escogido this winter, where he has a .400 OPS through his first four games, while handling every chance in the field. Cruz was asked about staying at shortstop in the future and he commented that a position change hasn’t been mentioned to him yet, but if he were to move, he would like to go to center field because that’s his favorite position.
Of course that is far from certain at this point with him not being approached and his preferred position might not be where the Pirates put him, but it’s at least interesting to note with a possible Starling Marte trade being rumored. Cruz is unlikely to see the majors in 2020 unless he succeeds in Triple-A and they call him up in September, but Marte only has two more years left on his contract and Cruz is the biggest potential bat in the system right now. Something to keep in the back of your mind for now.
One other side note from that article. It’s mentioned that Cruz’s father was a prospect for the Texas Rangers back in the 1980s named Rafael Cruz. I was surprised to find out he was a 5’11” middle infielder and he hit one homer in three seasons. His son is being listed at 6’7″ now, so that’s quite a difference. Cruz has a younger brother who will be eligible to sign next July and he’s a top rated shortstop. He’s also named Rafael Cruz.
From Sunday, here’s the home run hit by Fabricio Macias. It was his first of the winter.
— Roberto Espinoza (@Beisbolpuro) November 25, 2019