|Pittsburgh Pirates – No. 81|
|Born: January 28, 1973|
|MLB: July 18, 1996, for the San Francisco Giants|
|KBO: April 6, 2007, for the Hanwha Eagles|
|CPBL: July 28, 2009, for the La New Bears|
|MLB: October 2, 2005, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|KBO: May 20, 2008, for the Samsung Lions|
|CPBL: 2009, for the La New Bears|
|Runs batted in||105|
Jacob Cruz (born January 28, 1973), is The Assistant Hitting Coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cruz, who is of Mexican American descent, played outfield in Major League Baseball from 1996–2005. He batted and threw left-handed.
Cruz was drafted straight out of high school in 1991 by the California Angels, but did not sign; instead, choosing to play baseball for Arizona State University. Cruz was drafted in the 1st round (32nd overall) of the 1994 Major League Baseball draft by the San Francisco Giants, signing the next month.
Major League Baseball
Cruz would make his Major League debut on July 18, 1996. Cruz spent most of 1996 and 1997 in the Giants minor league system and after playing for the Giants Triple-A affiliate, the Fresno Grizzlies, for most of the 1998 season, was traded to the Cleveland Indians on July 23, 1998, along with Steve Reed, for Shawon Dunston, José Mesa, and Alvin Morman. Cruz would play one game for the Indians in 1998 and would spend the rest of the year playing for the Buffalo Bisons, the Indians' Triple-A affiliate. On June 2, 2001, the Indians traded Cruz to the Colorado Rockies for Jody Gerut and Josh Bard. Cruz would play 44 games for the Rockies and 20 for their Triple-A affiliate, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, before being released by the Rockies on November 30, 2001.
On December 21, 2001, Cruz signed with the Detroit Tigers. Cruz played 35 games for the Tigers and was released on October 3, 2002. On December 27, 2002, Cruz signed with the Cincinnati Reds. He would spend the next three years in the Reds organization, including appearing in a career-high 110 games in 2005. Released by the Reds on April 14, 2006, Cruz signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets on May 30, 2006. Cruz played 55 games for the Mets Triple-A affiliate, the Norfolk Tides, the rest of the year and was granted free agency at the end of the season.
Before the start of the 2007 season, Cruz signed a contract with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization. Cruz had an excellent season with the Eagles, hitting .321 with 22 home runs and 85 RBI. Before the start of the 2008 season, Cruz signed with the Samsung Lions. Cruz was cut by the Lions on May 23, 2008.
On December 13, 2010, the Arizona Diamondbacks hired Cruz to be the Hitting Coach of the Yakima Bears, the Diamondbacks Short Season Class A team. On November 22, 2011 Cruz was promoted to Hitting Coach of the Visalia Rawhide, the Diamondbacks Advanced Class A team. On December 16, 2016, Cruz signed to become a minor league hitting coach with the Chicago Cubs Double A team Tennessee Smokies.
- Riley, Jeff, Los Angeles Times, "Establishing Cruz Control Baseball: Rated one of the top outfielders in the nation, Channel Islands senior begins to meet his own lofty expectations." (April 24, 1991, Sports Section- Part C, Page 11); "Jacob Cruz, Sr. has been instrumental in his son's success He emigrated from Durango Mexico in 1964.."
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