SAUL DE LA CRUZ, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
Born: October 26, 1997
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 174
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2015, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
Country: Dominican Republic
Agent: N/A

WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE

De La Cruz signed in 2015, at age 17, but missed his first two years due to Tommy John surgery.  He throws about 93 mph and is developing a slider and change, with the latter showing significant potential.

2015-16
INJURED

De La Cruz missed both seasons as a result of Tommy John surgery.

2017
DSL:  1-0-0, 3.50 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 36.0 IP, 5.5 BB/9, 8.8 K/9

De La Cruz pitched mainly in relief, often in two-inning stints.  Opponents batted only .209 against him and he had a good K rate, but he had some trouble with walks.  He also had trouble with left-handed batters, who hit 286/423/357 off him.  Right-handed batters managed only 157/255/301, but the splits may not mean a lot at this stage.

2018
R:  2-2-2, 5.24 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 22.1 IP, 5.6 BB/9, 12.9 K/9

The Pirates used De La Cruz in relief in the GCL.  He struck out a lot of hitters, but obviously had control problems.

2019
R:  0-1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 10.0 IP, 0.9 BB/9, 9.9 K/9
R+:  1-0-0, 1.88 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 3.1 BB/9, 12.6 K/9

The Pirates sent De La Cruz back to the GCL, where he was much more effective than the previous year.  After seven games they promoted him to Bristol and he continued to pitch very well, missing a lot of bats and holding opponents to a .157 average.

De La Cruz made a great deal of progress in 2019.  He’s eligible for the Rule 5 draft now, but isn’t likely to be added to the roster or selected.  Hopefully, he’ll make it to full season ball in 2020.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2020: Minor League Contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2017
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2021
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2019
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
March 20, 2015: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.
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