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Pirates 2021 Top Moments Semifinals: Oneil Cruz vs. Max Kranick debuts

Did Cruz or Kranick produce a more memorable debut?

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates
Oneil Cruz powers the Pirates
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The 2021 Pittsburgh Pirates will not go down in the record books as one of the most recognizable and memorable teams in franchise history, more likely the opposite, but still delivered numerous significant moments.

Every season is unique in its own way and shines a few positive lights into even a dark year for players and organizations.

Before the 2022 season begins and a new CBA agreement is reached, Bucs Dugout looks back on the 2021 campaign and the top moments throughout the year.

Pirates 2021 Top Moments Semifinals: Oneil Cruz vs. Max Kranick debuts

The Pirates will be seeing a flurry of talented and exciting prospects make their Major League debuts during the 2022 season and beyond, with six prospects consistently being ranked in baseball’s Top 100.

Two promotions during the 2021 campaign sparked two of the greatest moments in the organization despite finishing the season 61-101.

The debuts of Oneil Cruz and Max Kranick were greeted with opposite reactions but similar results.

Cruz debuted on Oct. 2, 2021, and played two games to conclude the season, collecting two hits and a RBI before homering in the regular-season finale.

The 6’7” shortstop is the Pirates’ third-best prospect and the sport’s No. 52 overall across the Minors according to MLB Pipeline.

Kranick, meanwhile, was listed No. 26 on the organizational Top 30 after previously slotted No. 29 in 2020 and has been a member of the organization since 2016.

Kranick was dynamite in his Major League debut pitching in St. Louis opposite a potent Cardinals offense you could call it perfect. Kranick did not allow a baserunner through five innings in a rain-affected 7-2 victory. He made his debut after only seven combined starts in 2021 spanning between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis.

In our first round of voting, Cruz’s debut defeated the first ‘Roansy Day’ marking the debut of Roansy Contreras with 81% of the vote. Kranick took down Jacob Stallings’ walk-off grand slam against the New York Mets totaling 83%.


What was the better 2021 moment?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Oneil Cruz’s debut
    (62 votes)
  • 82%
    Max Kranick’s debut
    (283 votes)
345 votes total Vote Now