He’s like if Kyle Schwarber decided to become a runner instead of a walker


Well, you know what they say - Schwarber walked so that Cruz could run


Just shed a tear from how inspirational that was. Thank you for this moment 👏


I chuckled.


Feast or famine baby


That's basically it. He either hits piss missiles or strikes out. Which is bizarre because that's not really what he was in the minors. I think he's always going to have a low BA and will always strike out a ton, he just needs to walk enough and hit the ball hard enough to compensate for that. He's at a 37th percentile for BB% and a 57th percentile for xSLG, bump up that BB% and I think his overall OPS will be more than good enough.


Wake up babe, new Gallo just dropped


Joey Gallo but he's also a shortstop, but he's also the Joey Gallo of defensive shortstops


It seems like he swings out of his shoes every swing, so he can miss a lot but if he makes contact it's hot with a vengeance.


That, and he has no idea how to handle a lefty slider. If he can make that adjustment, he should be fine.


Just like me in mlb the show


Change ups are my kryptonite in that game. It’s so hard to get in front of fastballs on the higher difficulties in that game, especially inside ones, that you basically have to sit on them. I can handle sliders or curves because I can pick up the side to side movement but change ups just look like fastballs to me until the very last second and I’m scared of being late on the heater and end up swinging early or it drops down out of the zone and I swing over it.


Personally on that game i hate high pitches. I’m basically elite at taking pitches outside the zone - no matter how slight - and i’m really good at getting to low pitches. It’s just pitches in the upper half of the zone im late on every single time - it can be a fastball, curveball, whatever


I have that problem too. My solution was the zoom in the batter camera and lower the strike zone box so the top of the strike zone is where the middle usually would be on my screen I don’t know why that helps but it does and then I immediately push the stick all the way up as the ball is being released and then adjust from there since like you I’m much better at reacting to low pitches I can get to them even if I start with the pci at the top. If the pitch is high in the zone I can just swing and anywhere else I can adjust down. It’s not perfect and high pitches are still my worst zone overall but it helps. Sometimes my thumb naturally lets go even if I have the pci aimed right at the ball if it’s high when I press the swing button my thumb will relax and the pci goes back to the middle as I’m swinging and I swing under that only happens on high swings so I have to really jam the stick up as the pitch is being thrown to keep my thumb pressing up as a swing.


Do you move the PCI to the top? I usually out the PCI in top left or too right depending on the pitcher.


Damn, I’m the same with high fastballs in The Show, and always thought I was weird for not being able to catch up to pitches in the game that are traditionally considered the easiest to hit, at least in actual baseball.


Doesn’t matter if the balls going off the screen, I’m still swingin at a left slider


Sliders are so hard on that game because they start perfectly in the zone and then just zoom at the last second. I literally have to guess outside Slider on every two strike pitch to make sure I don't make a total fool of myself


That’s what I said about Javy for 7 years


piss missiles


[It is known.](https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Piss%20Missile)




Chris Cote, that you?


Cruz missiles


He also apparently hits very hard foul balls


He had pretty big K numbers in the minors too, it was just somewhat offset by facing worse competition. There's a reason he had a 30/40 hit grade.


He didn't have big K numbers in the minors. Typically low to mid 20% strikeout percentage while being very young for his leagues, which are great for a power prospect. I suspect his low projected hit tool grades were a result of his size and how hard it is for a guy with 4' arms to manage a consistent swing.


I think he’s gonna figure it out. Obviously big league pitching is considerably better than minor league pitching in general, but that disparity seems to be particularly extreme this year. I don’t have the numbers to back that up, but with the exception of a few - JRod, Pasquantino, Witt Jr,….Bryan De la Cruz over the last couple weeks… - it seems like this year’s top hitting prospects have struggled considerably post call-up at the plate. Jo Adell, Alex Kirilloff, Jared Kelenic, Vidal Brujan, Jarrod Duran, Joey Bart, Triston Casas, Bobby Dalbec (I guess not a prospect technically, but you know what I mean)….it’s a fairly long list if I’m not mistaken. If Cruz can settle in at the plate and chase less, will be very interesting to see what a full year of that looks like. Dustin Pedroia had a favorite term to describe what I’d expect, and that term would be *laser show*


He's a rookie, the biggest adjustment for hitting it the majors is learning to take pitches and deal with top level movement. The worst pitcher you see in the majors is above average in AAA. Only time will tell if he can make the jump fully.


So he's Joey Gallo with speed?


Joey Gallo has an elite eye. Cruz… does not


A lot of speed.


Gallo has an elite walk% even this year.


Just get on base more, why didn't he think of that


The OOA is worrying though. Do you think he’ll be able to stay at short or will eventually have to move to 3rd?


Oneil “Katy Perry” Cruz


2nd percentile whiff% dang. Just gives me a mental image of a blindfolded giant swinging the lumber. 7 percentile in OAA is also kinda spooky but obviously could be improved.


O’Neil Cruz picks Captain Falcon in Smash Bros and spams falcon punch.


im more of a game and watch spam 9 guy myself


G&W has a great set of smash attacks in SSBU so i just spam down smash into forward smash


that down smash is fucking irritating i say, as a Pichu main who has i-frames on all smash attacks, down special, up special, and three aerials.


A truly cultured individual. Also probably a more apt analogy for Cruz since the hammer usually does not roll a 9, but when it does you are very dead


He's a student of the "swing so hard you shit your pants" approach mastered by Luke Voit. Luke actually hits the ball sometimes and takes walks though.


I know I don't have to ask... but I have to ask. Did Voit?


What, you haven’t?


He made a lot of boneheaded plays against us recently. When you consider how premium the SS position is, botching basic plays really hurts you, especially if you also aren't making great plays. Seems like he should be in RF or CF with his cannon.


It doesn’t make sense with his speed and arm that he’s in the infield. Does he just have no clue how to track a fly ball?


You try your hardest to stick someone that gifted at a premium spot until they prove they can't. If it works you're golden if not you can just move him


CF is a premium spot top


True. We don't necessarily know how he'd adapt to the OF. A lot of premium athletes do it well- and I'd bet that he would- but it's not a guarantee. Since the Pirates are still far from contending, though, it doesn't hurt them to see if he can improve enough to stick at SS.


Honestly you put him in RF and it doesn’t matter if it’s not officially premium that’s a huge boost. Especially cuz you should beable to shade CF further to left then.


There's a lot of conversation amongst Reds fans about this with Elly de la Cruz, particularly with their newfound excess of quality SS prospects. I think this is absolutely the right answer, though.


I believe I heard during a Pirates game one time that they kept him at SS to challenge him and to keep his interest and effort at a high level. Not sure if he had effort issues at one point or something? He clearly shouldn’t be an MLB SS. They need to get his ass to the outfield. They can put him in CF and shift Reynolds to LF.


He’s also 23. He’s incredibly raw. In 3 years time he could be the best SS on the planet or he could be an above average starter. The graph shows the sky is the limit but his floor is also pretty close to mediocre.


Def makes sense as a CF with that speed, plus imagine him robbing HRs with that height


He really isn't a great SS yet. It's tough to be good at that position when you're 6'7 tho. I kind of wonder how he would play over at 3rd but Ke'Bryan Hayes is elite over there so he will probably never make that move for the Rats


With his speed and cannon for an arm he really should be in the OF. And his height will help to snatch away homers.


The defense can always be improved by just making him a DH


You don't want to pigeonhole someone so young as a DH, that really takes away a lot of his value if he's only half of a player. If you can't a position at least adequtely then you lose a lot of value to the team.


I honestly can’t reconcile his whiff and barrel rates being as far apart as they are.


His whiff% is that, but then his barrel rate is insane. Lmfao this guy makes no sense.


I feel like 7 percentile OAA is even worse when you consider the 98 percentile sprint speed


That's what a 37.3% K rate will do


He's on course for 248 strikeouts over a 162 game span. Yikes.


Better than 249


big if true


That extra AB is now a GIDP


At 114.8 screaming off the bat


Easy to turn a GIDP when the ball literally teleported into your glove.


Not as good as 247 tho


Khris Davis in shambles


That whiff % coupled with that barrel % seems crazy to me.


He must pick his swing spot before the pitch, a la Baez?


Lmao, holy fuck


He keeps breaking statcast records, might as well break the single season K record too


Cashman salivating.


Ngl having Cruz on the team would be fun af lol. Another giant too


Chris Davis is smiling somewhere


This is like if Pedro Cerrano from Major League were real.


We’ve done that, and his name is Franmil Reyes


You’re welcome. Sometimes I miss the Franimal.


Kyle Blanks


Haven't thought about him in a long time but he used to hit absolute bombs off me in like MLB 2K10


Bliggity Blanks!!


Only sometimes? What do you do to ease the pain the rest of the time?


“It’s better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all”.


Wily Mo Peña


I thought he was the second coming of Big Papi


Miguel Sano?


are you trying to say that Jesus Christ can’t hit a curveball?




“Felt wrong not to swing”


Such a good line from an incredible movie.


If only Merrill Hess played in 2010-2020’s, his TTO would have got him stacks of cash and his toes licked by beautiful women


Oneil “Javy Baez” Cruz


Oneil "No middle sliders" Cruz


yo is this a Monster Factory reference? cause if so i gotta say it's the last place i'd expect it


Gonna make a bunch of rowdy boys in The Show 22


Oneil “McElroy” Cruz


Second Life: baseball edition


Javy "Giannis 'Oniel 'El Mago' Cruz' Antetokounmpo" Baez


What is the Giannis connection?


Some site like Slate or Complex wrote an article about how much of a physical freak he is and how big he is for a baseball player, and because of course they had to make it about the NBA they framed him as a baseball-playing Giannis


He's a giant


I would guess height but not sure either.


Both play pro sports obv


Giannis good at everything except free throws. Oneil good at everything except making contact. Both good at everything except arguably the easiest thing. Oh and both are huge.


giannis is like good at everything the player you're looking for is russell westbrook


Javy Baez wishes his chase rate was 36th percentile


Conversely, Javy’s K% is currently sitting at 23rd percentile


nah, looks like his eye is only below avg at 37. He just whiffs a lot


They both have effortless power ?


They forgot his high percentile for height. He's also really good at being tall.


And throwing a 100mph fastball to first base for absolutely no reason.


What having a 5'9" first baseman isn't a good enough reason?


Man hit ball hard then run fast


hit hard, run hard, throw hard, whiff hard


hit hard, whiff hard, run hard, whiff hard, throw hard, whiff hard, whiff hard


Just like God intended


hard hard


He's the created player you made when you were 10. Dumb ass kid spent all the XP on power and speed, none on plate discipline and vision.


Wow this post has been up for 18 whole minutes and not once has someone said xDAWG


Not enough competitive games to know that yet


The moms of the r/nba crossovers are currently being making them do their homework


When you only ever level up strength


Straight ball he hit very much. Curveball, bats are afraid.


He has 98th percentile sprint speed at 6'7? Wtf


Kinda makes me think about the "what if Michael Jordan had focused exclusively in baseball?" question.


So what I'm getting from this is that he's an incredible physical athlete with absolutely 0 coordination and baseball IQ. Crazy raw but maybe he improves with time and coaching since he has the tools


> with absolutely 0 coordination you don't hit the ball that hard with 0 coordination, even if you are an absolute freak physically.


Yeah I thought that was a poor choice of words. I think the dude just swings hard as fuck all the time


Maybe even needed more time in the minors


You can't learn to read MLB caliber off-speed in the minors, and that's exactly what he isn't good at. He can make solid contact on the straightforward or slow stuff, but he has no idea what to do vs MLB level pitches with big movement. Besides, we suck ass anyways, what's the harm? Not like there's any pressure to perform playing for Bob Nutting's Pirates.


And it gives the Pirates fans something to watch. Yeah, it's ugly a lot of the time, but when he does something good, it's highlight reel material.


Exactly, the guy needs reps against big league talent. If he’s gonna be one of the guys the pirates are gonna put their chips on, he should be playing short and hitting lead off every game to get him the most at bats possible.


*One of the big guys Bob trades for cash considerations to a playoff team. Earlier in the season we cut a guy and Bob bought a brewery like two days later, if you have any illusions about why he owns the team. I love the Bucs but goddamn do I fucking hate Bob Nutting, and anyone who follows this team should hate him to the very core of his being. He's a billionaire but he feels the need to ruin decades for a historic team just so he can fund his other business. We aren't going to be consistently good until he sells the team or dies. Just the occasional lucky years until he sells the guys that got us there.


> *One of the big guys Bob trades for cash considerations to a playoff team. Like we did for McCutchen, Marte, Alvarez, Walker, Cole...oh we waited until these guys were either bad or had two years or less left to trade them? And none of them were for cash? That's literally just wrong. We haven't seen trading away the likes of Aramis Ramirez for like 20 years. The Pirates have major issues but this idea that is still prevalent doesn't really describe the teams issues. > Earlier in the season we cut a guy and Bob bought a brewery like two days later Who? You realize contracts are guaranteed right? So you meant trade, like one of the rentals we got a ton of return on? Oviedo, Nunez, and Holderman are hugely meaningful to us for guys leaving at the end of the season.


> You can't learn to read MLB caliber off-speed in the minors. That's exactly what the minors are there for. I mean, those guys are in the majors because they lack control, not stuff.


If you can throw an 85 mph offspeed with any level of consistency alongside a 95+ mph fastball, you are not going to be in the minors for very long.


AAA is loaded with guys who throw low to mid 90s with one breaking pitch. That's like the minimum to progress to AAA


... you'll be there for at least several years.


This looks like the stats of a guy who was rushed to the big leagues too quickly.


Lol don't tell Pirates fans that, Pirates fans were ready to riot because Cruz wasn't called up earlier. The situation with Cruz is that he needs to be facing MLB pitching to improve on these issues. He won't learn how to read MLB caliber off-speed pitches by playing in AAA.


Cruz is basically AAAA right now. He's a little too good to be in the minors, especially with the Pirates not being competitive.


I mean the dude has a 1.6 bWAR in half a season, really hard to call that a "AAAA" player. He's a 99 OPS+ at SS while playing what seems like decent to good defense according to BR. That's not a AAAA player, that's a starting SS that strikes out a ton.


This. Sometimes, players are too good to be held down. Sometimes it works out - Randy Johnson led the league in walks 3 times in a row early in his career and then got that under control - and sometimes it doesn't. He's learned all he needed to learn on the farm. Sink or swim time. Put me in the camp of a believer though; I think he'll figure it out.


99 OPS+ *but* he looks like a completely different batter than he did at first.


Fair enough. I didn't look at it statistically.


How is his defense? He’s in the 8th percentile in oaa here which is.. rough


His plus range and incredible arm strength do not make up for his ginormous frame and lack of coordination. Lots of errors, but a few really fun plays thrown in as well. I think he’s a corner OF long term.


I live in Indy, and saw Cruz play shortstop here in AAA back in April. After that game, I told a buddy "this Cruz guy is pretty interesting to watch, but you don't have to hurry to the ballpark to watch. He's got so much to learn he'll be here all year at least!" (Like, he clearly had no idea what to do playing shortstop in a shift with a double-play ball hit right to the second baseman. Just baseball IQ in general, not particularly at the plate.)


**"Whatever he hits, he destroys"** - the dude from Rocky IV scouting O'Neill Cruz


I wonder if taming his swing effort will help with his peripherals, maybe spreading out his stance more, sacrificing a bit of power for plate coverage. One things for sure he definitely needs to work on a mental approach for every at bat


The Stanton approach could make Cruz other worldly


Fast Wily Mo Peña.


Man he was something to watch


So Franchy Cordero.


Thought I was looking at Miguel Sano until I saw sprint speed.


If Steven Kwan had an evil twin. He’s like the anti-Kwan (minus speed).


I’ve been periodically checking his savant page for about a month now waiting to see this. It’s beautiful.


This is a visual representation of what people mean when they use the phrase “raw talent”.


Needs a little more seasoning but the fact that he hits the ball that hard means he can be really good. Just needs to keep working.


Little more is an understatement though. He's basically at the very bottom of so many categories.


Hits the ball “that hard” is an understatement too, tbf


Probably helps that his average isn’t driven down by pesky pesky weak contact because he simply whiffs or hits dingers. I’d be curious to see what his average exit velo is when he’s putting the ball in play more instead of striking out 250 times a season.


Is a baseball. Complete statement.


He's also at the very top of multiple categories. I don't expect him to greatly improve his plate discipline, but he can't do much worse.


He heard John Kruk talk about hitting knuckle balls and made that his entire strategy. "Swing hard in case you hit it"


People have been trying to take Franchy Cordero from this into something useful for six seasons now. It hasn't worked.


Cruz profiled as a substantially better prospect than Cordero ever did though. Cordero did have marginal improvements; imagine if the Pirates had good coaching, and what they might be able to get out of him


Yeah my point isn't that it's impossible, just that nothing about this image means it's guaranteed and it's a matter of more than just putting in enough work. Sometimes it just doesn't click or happen for guys.


Looks like if a D&D player would design a baseball player


When you min max your build in baseball


O’Neil Cruz is what would have happened if Kevin Durant was born in the DR


You may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like.


Translation. Hit ball hard or don’t hit ball


I knew he was fast but top 2%? That’s nuts, he’s faster than guys like Buxton, Berti, Trout and Rosario if baseball savant is accurate in sprint speed


If he even learns just an average amount of plate discipline he will be a good hitter


He’s been improving a bit this last month in that department. Hopefully he can continue that trend into next year cause if we’re gonna even try to resemble a competitive team, we need him to lower that K rate and get on base more


Yeah, definitely seems like he’s taking better abs the last month. Had a game where he almost walked three times if the umpire didn’t screw him. 3bb in one game seems like a really good sign.


Definition of what Jon Bois would call a “tightrope player”


He must have a garbage launch angle to be 97th percentile in barrels, 95th in average exit velo and be 59th in xSLG. But even more confusing is his 7th percentile xBA with those stats. How is that even possible? That's not a rhetorical question, I'm actually wondering. He must get under his flyballs way too much


Strikeouts count when calculating xBA


He strikes out almost 40% of the time and hits more ground balls and fly balls than league average, while also hitting less line drives than league average. So 40% of your plate appearances are strikeouts, 29% are ground balls, 4% are pop ups and you’re only left with around 17% of your PAs to really go for extra bases. All of my math might be wrong, I’m not an expert.


This guys gonna put it all together one day. Maybe possible 240 hitter with 35hrs need to cut that k rate to 22%


Going from 37% to league average would be quite the jump. Pirates fans should be happen with 28-30% for a guy his size with his power tbh. That’s right where Trout is sitting the last two years and it seems to work for him.


Aaron Judge didn't have a K% below 30% until his fifth season. (Note that they are both 6'7'') I see Judge's 25% as the good end of K% for Cruz, that would be a dream.


MLB 2k5 when you give adam dunn 99 speed


lots of potential here


A 99 OPS+ is perfectly cromulent


2nd percentile in whiff % and 97th percentile in barrel % sure is some combo


Oneil Cruz is going to be one of the best players in the game, or the single most exciting bad player in the game.


Rich man’s Javy Baez


Pretty much illustrates why his ceiling is super high, and why there's concerns about what he'll become. The Pirates need to work with him to cut back on how hard he swings, and they need to work with him to make him more selective with pitches. Last night he had three excuse me style hits the other way. If he can embrace putting the ball in play more and using his speed to create chaos, and then hammering the pitches in his happy zone, then he could reach the potential that we see.


Justin Turner vilified


Took Ricky Bobby’s words literally. “If you ain’t first, you’re last”


I know I’ve been living in the South for too long because my reaction was “shoo! Goodness!”


This dude watched javy Baez batting and said, why is he being so conservative?