Oneil Cruz Ranks Among the Top Ten Shortstops

MLB Pipeline continued their rankings of the top ten prospects at each position on Wednesday, posting the shortstops. The Pittsburgh Pirates had two players listed on the second base list, Ke’Bryan Hayes at third base (links to everything in that link) and Mason Martin at first base, as well as a hat tip to Quinn Priester in the right-handed pitchers article. All that’s left before their Friday unveiling of their top 100 prospects list is shortstop and outfielders (tomorrow).

The shortstops list is a strong one, and Oneil Cruz ranks ninth on the top ten. Pipeline gave him a 70 grade for his arm, which is tops among the top ten players. Not surprisingly, Cruz also got named as the player with the most to prove, partially due to his off-season car accident, but also based on his numerous (mostly minor) injuries over the last few years and (according to Pipeline) his lack of hustle/interest shown during the AFL season. They still went with the high ranking due to his plus raw power and above average speed, to go along with that arm that will play up at any position, even if it’s not shortstop.

As an added bonus here, the Pipeline podcast took a look at how much the Pirates farm system has improved due to the recent trades. Here’s that link.