Cruz is perhaps the toolsiest player in MLB, but he is still learning how to deal with MLB pitching on a regular basis.
There is no denying, however, that his physical gifts are what you would call loud: he has legendary bat speed that leads to impressive exit velocity numbers, a huge throwing arm, and some exciting speed on the bases.
He also has notorious issues to make consistent contact with the ball, evidenced by his 36.7 percent strikeout rate, and his plate discipline is still a work in progress.
All of these traits and weaknesses can be seen in his Statcast profile at Baseball Savant.
“Oneil Cruz has now played enough games to qualify for Baseball Savant’s percentile rankings. Here’s where he stands,” Justice de los Santos, who covers the Pirates for MLB.com, tweeted.
Oneil Cruz has now played enough games to qualify for Baseball Savant's percentile rankings. Here's where he stands: pic.twitter.com/e0OSQLMvsB
— Justice delos Santos (@justdelossantos) September 26, 2022
Highs And Lows, But Loads Of Potential
Evidently, there is a lot of power in Cruz’s bat: he ranks near the top of the league in average and max exit velocity (he had the hardest hit baseball in Statcast’s history this year) and also in hard-hit rate and barrel percentage.
He is also blazing fast, evidenced by his 98th percentile sprint speed.
However, he also swings and misses a lot, chases a lot of pitches out of the zone, and is a lousy defender at short according to the fielding metric Outs Above Average.
It’s important to point out, however, that he is indeed improving.
His OPS before the break was a meager .638, but he has a much better .781 mark after the All-Star Game.
He could be a beast by next year.