2023 Player Outlook
Cruz's 2022 season was what we expected, in that we saw plenty of jaw-dropping moments, as well as some issues that could be his fatal flaws at the game's highest level. In just 87 games, he hit 17 home runs and stole 10 bases, which over 162 games paced out to 31 home runs and 20 stolen bases. However, he hit just .223 with a 34.9 percent strikeout rate, and 66.2 percent contact rate. He's too talented to be removed from the lineup, but he managed to hit just .158 with an insane 53.2 percent strikeout rate against southpaws. Batting average aside, Cruz can do everything for fantasy baseball managers, and the Pirates have added some pieces that should give Cruz a slightly better-supporting cast compared to 2022. If you can stomach a .220-.240 batting average, Cruz has every opportunity to join the 25/15 club in 2023, and his ceiling sees him join the 30/20 club, something only one qualified hitter (Kyle Tucker) did last year.