The young phenom can hit the ball extremely hard while showing elite sprint speeds.
Oh, and he already broke the record for hardest throw by an infielder this season, at 96 mph, in his first game of the 2022 season in MLB.
He is 6-foot-7, and athletic enough to play a good shortstop.
He is a physical specimen: just what younger audiences wanted to see; and just what a dormant franchise like the Pirates were looking for.
If his physical gifts weren’t enough, he is also confidence in his abilities.
How can he not be, with those traits?
MLB’s official Twitter account posted some quotes by him: Cruz told The Athletic that “you are going to see a lot of balls hit hard and a lot of balls traveling very far.”
Oneil Cruz is not lacking confidence. 👀
— MLB (@MLB) June 22, 2022
We like the swagger!
It’s just a couple of games since he has been called up, but Cruz already has a .333 average and a stolen base, not to mention his five RBI.
He Still Has Room For Improvement
His stint in the minor leagues this year was successful, although not otherworldly.
He hit .232/.336/.422 with nine home runs and 11 stolen base with the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate, in 247 plate appearances.
He didn’t have a strikeout issue, but his overall offensive output can certainly improve with time and experience.
At peak, it’s not difficult to see 35 or 40-homer seasons with his immense raw power, but he will have to develop s a hitter first.
He needs to differentiate balls and strikes, and that will likely take some time.
Once he improves his plate discipline and learns to lay off balls and take advantage of hittable pitches, his numbers could be video-game-like.
Cruz is one of the most exciting things that has happened to the Pirates in a long time.