MICHAEL DE LA CRUZ
CENTERFIELDER
Born: July 10, 1996
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 165
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2012, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
Country: Dominican Republic
Agent: LA Sports Management

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

De La Cruz was one of the Pirates’ two high-profile Latin American signings in 2012, the other being the unrelated Julio De La Cruz.  Michael is a patient hitter who works the count.  He’s a line drive hitter who doesn’t have much present power, although that could develop later as he fills out.  He has good speed and should be able to stay in center.  His arm is average.

2013
DSL:  292/436/367, 226 AB, 11 2B, 3 3B, 58 BB, 50 K, 14-25 SB

De La Cruz had a strong debut, drawing walks and hitting for average.  He didn’t show much power, but he didn’t turn 17 until the mid-point of the season and will likely get stronger.  The biggest negative was that he struck out a lot, possibly a consequence of getting in a lot of deep counts.  He needs to improve on his base stealing efficiency.

2014
R:  165/287/198, 91 AB, 1 HR, 15 BB, 25 K, 4-5 SB

De La Cruz had a rough season, struggling to adjust to life in a new country and missing time with a skin ailment and an ankle injury.  He struggled to hit throughout, although he continued to show reasonable plate discipline.  Oddly, his only extra base hit was a HR.  He did show good range and instincts in center.

The Pirates aren’t likely to give up on De La Cruz, so they could send him to Bristol in 2015.

STATS
Baseball Reference — Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2015: Minor League Contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $700,000
MiLB Debut: 2013
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2019
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2017
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
July 10, 2012: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.