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8/18/1986 (30 y, 6 m, 2 d)
2007 June Amateur Draft - Round: 26, Pick: 18, Overall: 802, Team: St. Louis Cardinals
$1M / 1 Years (2016)
Cruz signed a minor league deal with the Padres on Tuesday, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. (2/7/2017)
Tony Cruz & Kevin Correia: Deep League Waiver Wire
Karl de Vries (RotoGraphs)
Cardinals Infield: Depth Chart Discussions
Howard Bender (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Cruz has racked up 260 plate appearances as Yadier Molina's backup in the last two seasons, but he hasn't given any indication that he could be useful to fantasy owners. He hasn't displayed any power at all, and he hasn't shown the ability to draw a walk, which is really the only offensive thing he did relatively well in the minors. Were Molina to miss time with an injury, Cruz could maybe provide value in NL-only leagues where simply getting at-bats from someone is valuable. But other than that he's useless for fantasy owners. (
The Quick Opinion:
Cruz is Yadier Molina's backup who has shown little to no offensive value in his 332 major league plate appearances. He'll have no fantasy value unless Molina gets hurt, and even then it would limited to 12-team or two-catcher NL-only leagues where someone just getting at-bats is valuable.
Tony Cruz is the backup to Yadier Molina, who is quite possibly the best catcher baseball. That does not mean Cruz has no chance at playing time. After all, Molina missed more than a month in 2014 with a thumb injury. Still, Cruz is more likely than most backup catchers to be limited to 130 plate appearances or so. Meanwhile, Cruz has shown little cause for optimism in fantasy. His three seasons as a backup amount to close to a full season of plate appearances for a catcher, and he has hit just .225/.271/.310 with three home runs and no steals in that time. He has no value in fantasy. (Scott Spratt)
The Quick Opinion:
Cardinals’ backup catcher Tony Cruz offers little in the way of fantasy potential. Given that he is behind Yadier Molina, perhaps the best catcher in baseball, he is even less likely to earn the chance to prove that statement incorrect.
Tony Cruz has spent the last few seasons not playing very much as Yadier Molina's backup catcher. After the Cardinals chose to sign Brayan Pena to back up Yadier Molina, they traded Cruz to the Royals so he could aim for a roster spot backing up Salvador Perez. When Yadier Molina got injured in 2014, the team decided to bring in A.J. Pierzynski instead of giving the full-time job to Cruz. When Yadier Molina was injured in 2015, they had a special bat made so that Molina could hit through an injury that would require offseason surgery instead of letting Cruz start. Once Cruz's salary was set to increase through arbitration, the Cardinals let Cruz go. Tony Cruz is a career .220/.262/.310 hitter with five home runs in more than 600 plate appearances. That production, in small doses, is what should be expected going forward for the 29-year-old backup catcher. In the past, he has had the McConaughey chest-thumping music from the movie Wolf of Wall Street as his walkup music, so that is something to look out for. (Craig Edwards)
The Quick Opinion:
Tony Cruz is an unlikely bet to hit well or get a lot of playing time. Fortunately for him, neither of those things are in his job description.
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Updated: Monday, February 20, 2017 11:40 AM ET
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