Cirilo Cruz (minors)

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Cirilo Cruz Rivera

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Biographical Information[edit]

The son of Tommy Cruz, brother of Alberto Cruz, nephew of Jose Cruz Sr. and Hector Cruz and cousin of Jose Cruz Jr. and Jose E. Cruz, Cirilo Cruz played seven years in the minor leagues. He was an All-Star in high class A one year.

The Seattle Mariners picked Cruz in the 68th round of the 1993 amateur draft but he did not sign. The year cousin Jose Cruz. was the Mariners' #1 pick, 1995, Cirilo did play for the organization. He hit .308/~.377/.363 in 39 games for the AZL Mariners while splitting third base with Luis D. Figueroa. He was 9th in the Arizona League in batting average.

While his cousin was being named the Mariners minor league player of the year, Cirilo was a utility man for the 1996 Everett AquaSox, hitting .270/~.304/.307 in 44 games. Cruz split 1997 between the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (.299/~.354/.357 in 69 games as a utility man) and the Lancaster Jethawks (.270/~.369/.368 in 43 games).

Cruz led the Mariners farm system in 1998 with 170 hits, batting .311/~.375/.427 for Lancaster. Primarily a first baseman by that point, he hit 40 doubles, scored 86 and drove in 104 while striking out 122 times. He made the California League All-Star team at first base and led the loop in hits, doubles (tied with Adam Piatt) and at-bats (546). He ranked 3rd in average behind Brendan Kingman and Jarrod Patterson.

In 1999, Cruz hit .249/~.305/.395 for Lancaster with 12 HR in 342 AB (but 73 strikeouts). He also made it to AA for 18 games, but only batted .158/~.284/.211 with the New Haven Ravens and was let go by Seattle after that season.

Like many players who washed out of the affiliated minors, Cruz caught on with the Somerset Patriots and hit .277/?/.325 in 73 games as a corner infielder. Traded to the Lehigh Valley Black Diamonds for Jose Viera, he batted .301/?/.434 for that team.

In 2001, Cruz wrapped up his career with a weak .170/?/.202 line for Lehigh Valley.

Sources: 1994-2002 Baseball Almanacs

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