The Kenny Cruz watch: highest ranked outfielder in NYS, 22nd in the nation

(photo by Jim Callahan)

• April 17, 2015

This season at a School of the Arts baseball game, you may (or may not) see someone, maybe with binoculars, surreptitiously taking notes. It very well could be a major league scout watching Kenny Cruz, only a junior, already a big time prospect, and possibly one of the best ever to play in the Rochester City Athletic Conference.

This Fall I met Kenny at an off season workout at MCC. Witnessing his natural talent and fierce passion for the game, I sensed unbounded potential. Nor am I hardly alone.  see No off season for SOTA’s rising baseball star. Oh, Kenny also currently has the highest GPA in the entire RCSD.

According to SOTA Athletic Director Dave Michelson, in a preseason poll Kenny was ranked the top junior outfielder in New York and 22nd in the entire country. Michelson has already been contacted by the Cincinnati Reds. Colleges and universities at all levels are beginning to recruit Kenny, including big name programs such as Penn State, Ohio State, St. Johns University, Boston College and the University of California.

Kenny vs. Eastridge at Cobbs Hill

So far Kenny has lived up to his billing. In a season opening 7-6 ten inning victory over Edison, in addition to singling and doubling, Kenny, who is focusing on center field, also came on in relief to pitch. True to form, he struck out 10 in only 3 2/3 innings. (Last April he struck out 9 in only three innings!) In a loss to East, Kenny hit an inside the park home run. Perhaps wisely, East Coach Kyle Crandall intentionally walked him three times, even once, á la Barry Bonds, with the bases loaded.

But don’t take my word for it. According to Prep Baseball Report, Kenny is the real deal:

Cruz stands an impressive 6-foot-2, 200-pounds with an athletic, above average body. At the plate his setup is wide and relaxed. On the pitch he strides forward, slight open toe, drives his hands powerfully inside the ball (evidenced from his 87 mph exit velocity with wood-bat) short path, barrel slightly inclined through the zone, explodes on the ball out in front. He uses great extension with a high balanced finish. Next-level with the bat. From the outfield he fields the ball glove side, clean transfer. He uses a long-back arm action, needs some cleaning up, throws from an over-the-top slot, arm strength at 83 mph with carry. Cruz is highly athletic, ran a 6.78 60 yard dash, he is still a bit raw but all the high-end tools are there. Chance to be a big-time prospect.

And another:

Cruz stands an impressive 6-foot-2, 200-pounds with an athletic, pro-size body. From the outfield he moves extremely athletic, can track balls with ease – evidenced by his 6.63 60 yard dash. Highly athletic prospect, Cruz keeps the ball in front of his body, uses a cow hop, transfer is slow but hand speed is quick and arm is becoming more fluid. 84 mph arm strength from the OF with good carry. At the plate Cruz carries a big stick, and swings like a grown man. His 92 mph exit velocity only tells half the story, during bp he put on an impressive display attacking the ball out in front. Short path to the ball, slightly inclined path, producing power. Prospect on the climb.

Or come see for yourself at a SOTA home game at Cobbs Hill.

For more on RCAC baseball, see City baseball opens; East set to defend title

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Kenny vs. East at East [Photo: b.p,]

 

Could this be the Cincinnati Red scout hiding in the stands at East? [Photo: b.p]