Note: This page is for Luis Cruz, major league player who made his debut in 2008. For others with the same name, click here.
Luis Alfonso Cruz Bojorquez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 180 lb.
Luis Cruz made his major league debut in 2008, his 8th professional season. He has played for the Mexican national team in a couple of events. His father Luis Cruz Sr. spent 19 years in the Mexican League, hitting over 200 home runs and batting .297.
Cruz was signed by scouts Ray Poitevint and Lee Sigman for the Boston Red Sox in August 2000. He debuted professionally with the 2001 GCL Red Sox and hit .259/.285/.350. He led the Gulf Coast League by grounding into 8 double plays. Some sources mistakenly list him as a GCL All-Star. Cruz hit only .188/.221/.277 for the 2002 Augusta GreenJackets and batted .292/.329/.347 for the GCL Red Sox that year. He made 26 errors in 79 games between the two stops. He was traded to the San Diego Padres that winter for Cesar Crespo.
In 2003, the teenager produced at a .231/.284/.335 clip for the Fort Wayne Wizards and made 42 errors. Cruz was the Mexican third baseman in the 2003 Baseball World Cup and did a fine job, hitting .400/.464/.760 to beat out infield mate Jorge Cantú as the team's top offensive threat. He fielded perfectly and just missed the Cup's top 5 in average. Michel Enríquez beat him out for the All-Tournament team slot at third base.
Cruz hit .277/.310/.404 for the 2004 Lake Elsinore Storm. Just 20 years old, he was showing decent power in A ball (35 doubles) while being the second-most difficult batter to strike out in the California League (one K per 9.84 plate appearances). He made the League mid-season All-Star team. One negative was another 42 errors; he also stole just 3 bases in 10 tries and only coaxes 24 walks in 124 games. Baseball America named him San Diego's best defensive infield prospect entering 2005; they also rated him as having the best infield arm in the Cal League in 2004.
Cruz started 2005 very poorly, only batting .159/.215/.245 for the Mobile BayBears in 44 games and was farmed out to the Mexico City Red Devils. He hit .283/.315/.429 in 61 games in the Mexican League. He remained in his homeland for winter ball with the Mayos de Navojoa. He moved to the Mazatlan Deer for the 2006 Caribbean Series and was one of their top stars, hitting .375 in the Series and contributing two home runs and five RBI in one game against Puerto Rico. Luis was chosen for the Mexican entry in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, appearing in five games and going 0 for 1.
Cruz had a fine 2006 campaign for Mobile, hitting .261/.301/.415 and leading the team in runs (65), hits (130), doubles (35) and RBI (65) while clouting a career-high 12 home runs. He was named Mobile's Player of the Year. Cruz was third in the Southern League in doubles and extra-base hits (50). He was a mid-season SL All-Star. He also played for the World Team in the 2006 Futures Game as the backup 2B to Yung-Chi Chen, going 0 for 2. He capped his busy year with the Mayos, hitting .268.
Baseball America rated Cruz as San Diego's #20 prospect entering 2007 and he was on the 40-man roster at the start of the season. He hit only .168/.216/.342 in his first 45 AAA games, for the Portland Beavers and .252/.293/.345 for the San Antonio Missions and was removed from the 40-man roster by the end of June. He hit .248 in winter ball.
A free agent, Cruz signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates for 2008 and was assigned to the Altoona Curve. He hit .264/.303/.381 in 105 games, leading Altoona in RBI (only 46) and errors (23) before being called up to the Indianapolis Indians when Brian Bixler was briefly called up to Pittsburgh. He hit .325/.347/.483 in 32 games for Indianapolis. That one good month earned him a ticket to the majors as a September call-up. In his big league debut, Luis batted second and started at shortstop. He had a broken-bat single to left off of Aaron Harang in his first MLB at-bat but was promptly caught stealing by Ryan Hanigan. He went 1 for 4 on the day. Cruz hit .224/.278/.269 in 22 games for the Pirates, playing primarily at shortstop.
Cruz made the Pirates' 2009 roster out of spring training as a utility man. He had gone 1 for 2 before Pittsburgh acquired Delwyn Young in a trade. They sent Cruz back to Indianapolis. In his first game in right field, on April 23rd, he threw out Wes Hodges at third, Stephen Head at second base and Luis Valbuena at home to play a decisive role in a 5-4 win. He came back to play 27 games for Pittsburgh, hitting .214/.282/.229, and .253/.274/.358 in 66 games at Indianapolis. He was 4 for 15 with a homer and 3 RBI for the Naranjeros de Hermosillo in the 2010 Caribbean Series.
He played only 7 games with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010 but did well with the AAA Nashville Sounds, where he hit .281/.309/.414 with 29 doubles, 10 homers and 68 RBI in 129 games. He then spent all of 2011 in the minor leagues, part of it back in the Mexican League, hitting .406/.449/.781 with 7 home runs and 18 RBI in 16 games for the Mexico City Red Devils and .273/.301/.433 in 67 games for the Round Rock Express. In the winter of 2011-2012, he excelled for the Tomateros de Culiacan (.340/.360/.619, 17 2B, 17 HR 41 R, 47 RBI in 62 G). He finished third in the Mexican Pacific League in average (behind Sandy Madera and Kraig Binick), tied Issmael Salas for 5th in runs, led in hits (83, 5 over Madera), led in doubles (one more than Maxwell León), was third in dingers (behind Bárbaro Cañizares and Jorge Vázquez), tied Jose Rodriguez for third in RBI, was second in slugging (.005 behind Madera) and (despite not making the top 10 in OBP due to only 9 walks) was 4th in OPS (after Madera, Cañizares and Vázquez). He was named league MVP for his work.
He caught a break when he was called up by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 with the team's roster brimming with injuries. he had been doing well, hitting .318/.348/.529 with 31 doubles, 8 home runs and 46 RBI in 74 games for the Albuquerque Isotopes. Given a chance to play almost regularly in place of the injured Dee Gordon at shortstop, Luis impressed with his poise and unexpected contributions with the bat. On August 18th, he followed Hanley Ramirez and James Loney in hitting three consecutive solo homers off the Atlanta Braves' Ben Sheets in the span of four pitches in the 2nd inning in Major League Baseball's annual Civil Rights Game. The Dodgers won that game, 6-2. Overall, he hit .297/.322/.431 in 78 games, with 20 doubles, 6 homers and 40 RBI. He went 3 for 11 with a double, walk, run and 3 RBI as Mexico's starting third baseman in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He tied Jorge Cantu and Adrian Gonzalez for the team lead in RBI.
The Dodgers were hoping for Cruz to continue to contribute with the bat as a utility infielder in 2013, but unfortunately for them, he had turned back into a pumpkin. In 45 games, he hit only .127/.175/.169 with a homer and 6 RBI, managing the rare feat of putting up a negative OPS+ (-2) in over 100 at-bats. He was designated for assignment on June 28th but opted for free agency rather than report to AAA. Lo and behold, he managed to find another job rather quickly, as the New York Yankees signed him on July 3rd, when they placed SS Jayson Nix on the disabled list with a badly strained hamstring. Suddenly, Cruz found himself starting at shortstop for the Bronx Bombers. He hit .182/.224/.200 in 16 games for the 2013 Yankees with more errors (2) than walks (1). He then went on the DL with a knee injury and was let go.
Cruz signed with the Chiba Lotte Marines for 2014. With Toshiaki Imae injured, the 30-year-old started at third base rather than short on Opening Day. Hitting 9th, he went down looking against Tadashi Settsu his first time up, then singled his next trip to the plate. He got his first home run in Nippon Pro Baseball on March 30 when he took Brian Wolfe deep.
- Altoona Curve bio
- 2008 Pirates Media Guide
- Defunct IBAF site
- 2002-2008 Baseball Almanacs
- 2006 Baseball Guide
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette