Alert - Juan Cruz
Juan Cruz: After just an average season in 1999 at Eugene (5-6, 5.94
ERA, 80.1 IP, 97 H, 33 BB, and 65 SO in 15 starts), this 19-year-old
righty is having what could turn out to be his breakout season in his
first crack at full season ball.
Currently playing for Single-A Lansing, Cruz has posted a 5-5 record,
but has added a 3.44 ERA, 93 strikeouts, 57 walks, two complete games, and
89 hits allowed in 16 starts (89 innings of work) thus far.
Cruz is a power hurler, something that the Cubs could desperately use
in their rotation. The only negative so far is that he can be wild and
needs to cut the walk total as he matures and develops. I would not put
him in the Carlos Zambrano class yet, nor would I expect to see Cruz
advance as rapidly through the system like Zambrano has done this year.
Still, he's a name to remember down the road. You are probably looking at
not seeing him in the majors till about late 2003 (barring rapid
development). It's hard to project his future impact as of yet, but Cruz
could make for a great piece in the mixture that could include Carlos
Zambrano and Ruben Quevedo in the Cubs rotation.