My 1st look at SS, Johan Cruz, Kannapolis

Johan Cruz, courtesy of

Hey guys, I got my 2nd look at the Kannapolis Intimidators (White Sox)  last night and my 1st at shortstop Johan Cruz.

Cruz, age 20, listed 6’2″ 188 lbs (I’d guess he’s 5-10 lbs heavier than that) he bats and throws right.  Cruz was signed by the White Sox out of the Dominican Republic in 2012 for $450,000.

Cruz was pretty high on my list of players I wanted to see coming into the season.  He’s taller and thicker than I imagined he would be (I always expect to see 6′ 160 lbs from a shortstop at this level).

Cruz’s calling card is his defense, it was only one look but despite having just average foot speed he’s a very good defensive shortstop, He showed a good 1st step and very good hands.  He came in on a ball very well last night.  His release seemed a little on the slow side but he made up for that with a very strong arm.  The only question is how much will he fill out.

At the dish Cruz has an upright closed stance, a long level swing and above average bat speed.  It was just one look but I’m a little concerned about the bat as he was getting beat by some pretty mediocre heat last night.  He was late at 88 and 90 he’ll have to find a way to get quicker to the ball.  It was one look at maybe he had a hard time picking up this particular pitcher not sure, I’ll be seeing more of Cruz this season and I’ll be updating as the season goes along.

The glove does give him a utility option


Luis Martinez, courtesy of

RHP) Luis Martinez Age 21, 6’4″ 190 lbs (I guessed 200)

I liked what I saw from Martinez

He’s long and lean, there’s projection left.  He was pounding the zone with all of his pitches.  3B side of the rubber, high 3/4 release point.  He worked up in the zone a lot, generating a lot of pop ups and lazy fly balls.  Third time through they squared him a little bit.

90-93 a few at 94. Fairly straight but he commanded it well.

I saw one pitch at 89 that behaved like a cutter

84-85 Change he disguised it well, modest sink and fade

80-84 slider, most were average  he flashed plus.

Sequencing,  Martinez was 80% fastball the 1st time through, 15% change and just a couple of sliders.  By the 5th he was 65%, 20% Change, 15% slider. He was still 92-93 in the 5th inning.

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