Possessing a 6-foot-7 frame and incredible athleticism, he can hit the ball very hard, can run very fast, and throw extremely hard from shortstop position to first base.
For a talent appraiser, this is the perfect skill for a young prospect.
It took him just 54 games to break the record for the hardest hit ball and fastest throw by an infielder in the statcast era.
He accomplished his first feat on Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves: He hit the ball so hard it bounced off the wall and was the only one.
The second, a 97.8 mph throw at first base, was made in the first season.
“Vanil Cruz now has the hardest-hitting ball (122.4 MPH) and the fastest throw by an infielder (97.8) during the Statcast era. He has played 54 career games,” tweeted Talkin Baseball.
Oneil Cruz now has the hardest hit ball (122.4 MPH) and the fastest throw by an infielder (97.8) during the statcast era. He has played 54 career games pic.twitter.com/gswwtVpIJY
— talkin’ baseball (@talkinbaseball_) 24 August 2022
A Tolly, But Raw Player
It’s the best representation that Cruise has at this point in his career, in his rookie season, and at age 23: a raw player, with some of the loudest tools on the planet.
That means Cruz is far from a finished product, but his ceilings are exceptionally high.
However, his destination is still quite low.
He entered today’s game with a drop of .198/.249/.401, and while he has 10 home runs and six stealthy hideouts, he is hitting massively in his 38.3 percent at-bat.
He needs to constantly make contact to maximize his immense potential, but he’s not at that level yet.
Progress will come with time and more and more batting against the best pitchers in the world, but even if Cruz realizes only half of his potential, he can be an everyday player with some All-Star appearances.
If he can touch his roof, though, we’re talking about a potential Hall of Famer, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves and enjoy whatever he’s doing on the field, hopefully. Can improve as a hitter.