Michael De La Cruz Signs With Pirates

The Pirates have signed Dominican outfield prospect Michael De La Cruz for $700,000. This is, apparently, a different guy than third baseman Julio De La Cruz, who the Pirates signed last week for exactly the same amount. Unlike Julio, I can find very little information about Michael online, but $700,000 is obviously a substantial bonus. The Pirates have now spent about half their Dominican bonus budget on two separate guys named De La Cruz. An amazing coincidence, but it could be weirder -- this is an organization that once had two players named Jose De Los Santos.

Anyway, Michael is left-handed. He apparently has good speed and the tools to play good defense, and he could develop power as well. He's 16, so it's a very long time before we'll get to see any of that.

UPDATE from David: Here is the statement from Rene Gayo, the Pirates Director of Latin American Scouting, the team released when announcing the signing:

"We are very excited to sign Michael," said Gayo. "He is a young player with now (sic) tools that are still developing. He is also an instinctive and aggressive performer with a very strong opportunity to be a five-tool player. I want to thank and congratulate Scouting Supervisor Juan Mercado and our staff for doing such a fine job on the acquisition of this player."

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