The club's first-half production was exceptionally weak, but the pitching kept them over .500. The Cardinals were last in runs scored, with their .219 batting average and team OPS of .608 third from the bottom of the 35 DSL clubs.
After the break, the Cardinals offense, while still below average, improved some as they finished 26th of 35 in runs scored overall. They were 30th in OPS at .617 and 29th in home runs with just 10 as a team in 70 games. In one positive, the Cardinals were 12th in taking walks.
In addition to being the club's lone offensive all-star, Cruz was joined by three pitching teammates for their US debuts in the Cardinals fall instructional league currently underway in Jupiter, Florida.
Given that, even before looking at the numbers, you can imagine that Cruz is The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com 2012 Dominican Summer League Cardinals Player of the Year.
|DSL Cards hitters||AB||R||2B||3B||HR||RBI||BB||SO||SB||AVG||OBP||SLG||OPS|
Now that you have seen the data, the selection can be fully appreciated. Cruz led the team in runs scored, hits, home runs, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS and was just one RBI and two doubles from the top of those lists as well.
In other words, the 19-year-old Dominican was the offensive leader of his team. He batted .367 in June, dropping to .290 the next two months. However, July was his best power month, when the right-handed hitter had over half his home runs and RBI.
It was a big step forward from his 2011 DSL debut, when Cruz was lodged below the Mendoza Line at .186 and had just two extra-base hits in 116 at-bats. 2013 will offer his first opportunity to test US-based pitching, likely in the Gulf Coast League.
Venezuelan shortstop Leobaldo Pina turned 18 during the summer, while leading the team in doubles and stolen bases. He finished right behind Cruz in a number of other hitting categories.
Despite hitting just one home run, outfielder Carlos Torres was first on the 2012 DSL Cardinals in RBI. The then-19-year-old Venezuelan also paced the club in walks and was second in on-base percentage and third in stolen bases, batting average, slugging and OPS.
Link to master article with all 2012 award winners, team recaps and article schedules for the remainder of this series.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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