Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Oneil Cruz Involved in Deadly Crash in Dominican Republic

Oneil Cruz, a prospect from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, was reportedly involved in a motorcycle crash on Monday that killed three people. The Diario Libre reported Cruz was in a vehicle that "was traveling ahead in the same direction, supposedly without any type of light and in the left lane," which hit a motorcycle that was holding three people. According to DK Pittsburgh, there was no alcohol involved in the crash.

Brian Warecki, Pirates vice president of communication and broadcasting, stated learning about Cruz. "The Pirates are aware of the tragic accident in the Dominican Republic involving Oneil Cruz," he said. "We have been in contact with Oneil, and he is cooperating fully with the local authorities. We will provide an update as more information becomes available."

Cruz was in the Dominican Republic after spending the summer at the team's alternate training site in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Since the season ends this week, the players were let out of the training site, and Pirates general manager Ben Cherington said Cruz was going to go back to the Dominican Republic, which meant he wasn't going to be called up the team's active roster.

Cruz, 21. is considered the team's third-best protect behind, Ke' Bryan Hays and Nick Gonzales, who was drafted in the first round earlier this year. The 6-foot-7 prospect initially signed with the Las Angeles Dodgers in 2015, but joined the Pirates a few years back and has improved each year. In February, Cruz talked to MLB.com about his future and said he's looking to be an everyday player in the big leagues this season.

"My goal, really, is I want to make it to the big leagues this year," Cruz said. "I want to do everything possible to make it to the big leagues this year." At that time, Cruz was listed as MLB Pipelines No. 64 prospect in baseball, and it's likely he will have a chance to make a significant impact next season. In 2019, Cruz started the season at Class A Advanced Bradenton and was then promoted to Double-A Altoona, where he hit .269/.346/.412 in 35 games. "It feels great. It's an honor. It's a blessing to be here. I'm really excited," Cruz stated. "I had a good time last year, being able to show a little bit of what I have, and I'm excited to show a little bit of what I have now."