The system’s top pitcher
At 6-feet 4-inches, Oscar De La Cruz is starting to gain more and more attention. His fastball can reach 97 miles per hour, and his curveball has power. Add a changeup to his arsenal and he can prove potent to opponents.
This season, De La Cruz started nine games for Single-A Myrtle Beach. In those starts, he notched 42 strikeouts while walking eleven. All but two games saw him go at least five innings (remember, A-ball only goes seven innings). That includes a complete game shutout of the Lynchburg Hillcats, one of the leagues best teams.
The only knock on De La Cruz is his health. Currently, he is on the seven-day disabled list. Of course, that transaction was on June 1, but there is no news of return. His trips to the DL are mostly due to elbow inflammation.
Scouts say that he is as good as the departed Dylan Cease, projected to be a number three starter in the majors. If the injuries keep bothering him, the day he makes the majors may not come. Theo Epstein is hoping De La Cruz turns into the first pitching prospect to make the majors for the Cubs.