Oakland A’s sign former prospect Jasseel De La Cruz
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s need to bring in former top prospects in the hope that they can live up to their potential. One such move came earlier in the week as the A’s signed Jasseel De La Cruz to a minor league contract.
De La Cruz has been an interesting prospect for years, throwing a no hitter in the minors in 2019 while posting solid strikeout numbers. He had been a part of the Braves spring training over the past couple of years, getting a chance to work with major league coaching as he was expected to be a part of their future.
Oakland A’s give Jasseel De La Cruz a fresh start
De La Cruz has struggled in the upper levels of the minors as he has been roughed up at Triple-A in his two stints there. He also battled injuries throughout 2022, leading to a disappointing 7.18 ERA and a 1.823 WHiP over his 26.1 innings. While he struck out 28 batters, De La Cruz struggled with his command, issuing 12 walks while hitting five batters and uncorking three wild pitches.
Now it is the A’s turn to see if they can unlock his potential. Those command issues have been a problem for De La Cruz throughout his career as his high effort delivery leads to his inability to find the zone for stretches of time. However, he has a plus fastball that can tough the upper 90s and an inconsistent slider that can be a plus offering when it is on. De La Cruz also throws a changeup, but does not have much feel for the offering, making it subpar at best.
Given his excellent fastball/slider combo and questionable command, his future could well be in the bullpen. He has the type of stuff that could translate well to such a role, especially if the A’s are able to fix his mechanics to improve his command. If nothing else, he is the type of lottery ticket they need to take a chance on.
The Oakland A’s have signed Jasseel De La Cruz to a minor league deal. With his pure stuff and potential, he could end up being a steal.