Scouting 3B, Enrique Cruz

Enrique Cruz was signed following the 1998 season. Cruz's father is a long-time veteran of the Dominican Winter League. He brought his son to the US for scheduled workouts, and then returned to the Dominican Republic. Cruz was paid the highest paid foreign player signed by the Mets. Jorge Toca received a much larger bonus, but Toca had permanent resident status at the time of his signing.

Cruz is widely regarded as the prospect with the greatest upside save Alexander Escobar. Despite the high strike out ratio of 1 K per 4.1 AB in 2001, this was a slight improvement of his 200 ratio of 1 K per 3.8 AB in 2000. Cruz continued to show patience at the plate with a walk per 8 AB. Cruz's best tool remains his power should he fill out. Cruz struggled with the curve in the South Atlantic League. However, he is an excellent base stealer having stolen 33 bases for Columbia while being caught only 7 times - a success rate of 82.5%.

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2001

Cap City

.251

438

110

9

59

60

33

59

106

.346

.368

2000

Cap City

.185

157

29

1

12

19

1

25

44

.299

.280

2000

Kingsport

.251

223

56

9

39

35

19

26

56

.335

.435

1999

Gulfport

.306

183

56

4

24

34

0

28

41

.399

.470


*Stats as of 9/3/01.

Batting and Power. Enrique Cruz's has excellent power projection as his 6'1", 175 lbs. frame should easily handle additional 30 lbs.+ of solid, useful muscle without affecting his swing. Cruz has demonstrated patience and plate discipline in his short career.

Baserunning and Speed. Enrique Cruz is an exceptional base runner and base stealer. He has good, but not great speed.

Defense. Enrique Cruz has potential to be a gold glove player at 3B. He has the arm, athleticism, hands, and quickness to become a quality 3B. However, Cruz who is capable of making the spectacular play, however, he often misplays the routine play. He has been error-prone in his short career. He also tends to allow his offense to affect his defense.

Projection: Depending upon the consistency of his defense and the actual power he develops, Cruz projects to be a starter at 3B. Since Cruz can also play SS, he can be an infield utility player.

ETA: 2004. He is not likely to be ready on opening day but before the end of the season. As Cruz struggles with the breaking pitch, he is not likely to move through the season quickly.

Third Basemen Team
Rodney Nye AA - Binghamton Mets
Edgar Rodriguez A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Jay Caligiuri A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Joseph Jiannetti A - Brooklyn Cyclones
David Wright R- Kingsport Mets
Brett Harper R - Kingsport Mets
Ricky Olivares University de Carabobo


1. Third baseman has become perhaps the strongest position outside of right handed-starting pitching in the Mets farm system.

2. The Mets are preparing Snyder to be able to play both 3B and 1B. His power projection fits nicely as a third baseman.

3. Rodney Nye does not have the power to be an everyday third baseman. He played all infield positions and also outfield in his collegiate days.

4. Jianetti who is probably the second rated 3B in the system does not project to have Cruz's power, but is very athletic, an aggressive baserunner (but not yet a good base stealer), solid hitting ability with advanced plate discipline, and solid defense ability to move more quickly through the system than Cruz, but is likely to be blocked by Cruz.

5. Jay Caligiuri and Edgar Rodriguez are both solid prospects. Caligiuri has learned to play 1B extremely well in a short period of time. Brett Harper is a solid 3B who is learning to play 1B also. Harper does not yet hit for much power, but has projectable power.

6. David Wright is yet another top-notch prospect at 3B. He also has the plate discipline to move through the system quickly, but is blocked by the collection of young third basemen in the Mets system.



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