O'Neil Cruz


Moderators: SammyKhalifa, Doc, Bobster

Post Reply
Posts: 752
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:47 am

O'Neil Cruz

Post by INbuc »

Offensively O’Neil Cruz appears to have bottomed out. In his last 11 games he is 5 for 39, no RBIs, 19 Ks and 5 BB. He has struggled mightily with breaking balls, and at least when I watch him, it seems the change-up mystifies him just as much. Sadly, he is so confused by all the off-speed stuff, it’s affecting his ability to recognize and hit a fastball.

This might be a good time to simply things for him. His current stance allows pitchers -- both righties and lefties --to use their entire arsenal against him. As a result, he not only is trying to cover the strike zone, but it seems he is trying to cover a foot outside it in every direction. One approach he might try to move closer to the plate. This could provide two potential benefits: 1) it might discourage pitchers from throwing certain pitches, and 2) might discourage—or really disable—Cruz from swinging at certain pitches. This result would shrink the amount of things Cruz, or most hitters, would have to think about. He needs to be able to eliminate as many variables as possible.

I do find it interesting that in 198 plate appearances this season, Cruz has not been hit by a pitch. Crowding the plate more might be one tactic he could try to shake things up. It might cause other issues, but in some sense, you might ask what does he have to lose? One stance I always liked, was that of Jack Clark. He got closer to the plate by closing his front foot. This stance gave him great balance for opposite-field power, and he could easily pivot to pull the ball.

Regardless of what remedies they might try, I hope the Pirates come up with some good options. Cruz has some deficiencies, but he has some very unique abilities. If, Cruz has been a poor student to this point, perhaps his struggles will open him up to instruction.
Post Reply