60. RP Rhiner Cruz
Cruz was signed as an international free agent in 2003, when he was 17 years old.
He pitched both the 2004 (0-1, 4.78, in 16 relief appearances) and 2005 season (1-0, 4.50, in 14 appearances) for the rookie level GCL Tigers.
In June 2006, the Detriot Tigers released Cruz. Their loss.
He started 2007 with the DSL Mets (0-1, 2.70, 4 appearances, 1 save), but was quickly promoted to the GCL Mets, where he went 2-0, 0.00, in 4 appearances, 6.0 IP. That was it for that team and it was on to Kingsport, where he finished the season, going 1-1, 0-71 in 11 appearances, 13 Ks/12.2 IP. In 2008,
Cruz started the 2008 season with Brooklyn and ended with Savannah. His combined stats were: 2-2, 4.73 in 21 relief appearances.
But it was 2009 when he found his calling in Savannah. Cruz became the franchise premier minor league closer, going 3-3, 1.92, 1.20, in 50 (yes, I said 50) appearances. This included 22 saves. His OBA was .199.
2010 Forecast: - Cruz had a very successful 2009 season, though he was barely effective when he pitched in a non-closing situation. This makes me wonder if his head is in the game during these situations, and, if his his head isn’t in it, that spells issues. That being said, he easily has earned a trip to St. Lucie with the 2009 rotation, and we’ll keep an eye on him there. Right now, he’s the top closer, even over Roy Merritt, in the system, but let’s remember all the hoopla we had a couple of years ago about Eddie Kunz.
10-6-10: - 2011 forecast: - I expected Cruz to be the St. Lucie closer in 2010 but it didn't happen. His stats were good, except for far too many walks. He'll play 2011 as a 25-year old which is baby years for a middle reliever. I don't know... I expected this kid to make headlines and, so far, he hasn't. I got him going to Binghamton, not because he has earned it yet, but due to the fact he must make room for the kids coming up.
Cruz finished 2010 in good shape: 0-5, 3.46, in 51-G, 6-Sv. Also, 66-Ks in 75.1-IP. Problem is he also gave up 53-BB. Cruz will move on to Binghamton, but he won’t last long if he doesn’t cut back on the walks.
5-9-11: - RHP Rhiner Cruz transferred from St. Lucie (High-A) to Binghamton (AA). Rhiner impressed as a closer in Savannah (2009: 22-saves) and pitched the entire 2010 season for St. Lucie (0-5, 3.46, 51-appearances). This season, he was 2-1, 2.77 in 8-G, 13.0-IP, with 18-Ks. It is time for him to bump up and see how he does against AA bats.
6-22-11: - http://bleacherreport.com/tb/b9YCm - Rhiner Cruz has not quite reached 100 mph on a radar gun. “Just 99,” Cruz said. Still, the right-handed reliever has been plenty good enough for the Binghamton Mets of late. In his past four relief appearances, the 24-year-old Cruz has limited opponents to one hit and four walks while striking out nine in 10 2/3 scoreless innings. Since an early May promotion from Class A St. Lucie, Cruz is 1-1 with a 2.84 in 14 appearances spanning 25 1/3 innings in Double-A.
7-26-11: - http://www.amazinavenue.com/2011/7/26/2287253/mets-mid-term-farm-system-review-2011-binghamton#storyjump - RHP Rhiner Cruz - STOCK UP - Not exactly a household name and he didn't appear in the preseason Top 50, but the 25-year old Cruz is opening a lot of eyes by handling Double-A hitters to the tune of a .200 average against in his first go-around with Bingo. Specifically, it's the heater, which has gained a couple ticks and now tops out at 99mph, that will keep scouts interested in his exploits, good or bad. So far it's mostly been good but like many fireballers Cruz has a problem keeping it in the strike zone. Throughout his career he's posted BB/9 at or around 5 and this season has been no different. But if he can somehow figure that out he'll move real fast.