After having an excellent 2012 season, Keury De La Cruz struggled at high-A Salem in 2013. He is a 21-year-old outfielder out of the Dominican Republic who was originally a center fielder, but has been moved to, and is more suited as a corner outfielder.
De La Cruz is raw, but has some real potential. His approach at the plate is improving and he needs to improve his base running skills, but has the potential to be a real base-stealing threat and can be a solid defensive outfielder.
He has a long, violent, upper-cut swing from the left side of the plate and can be regularly fooled with off-speed stuff. That said, when he makes contact, especially on balls down in the zone, the ball travels. He has quality power, and above-average speed.
While his skills are still raw, he is Rule 5 eligible and I would not be shocked to see a team focused more on the future than immediate success, like the Houston Astros, to pick him up and make him their fourth outfielder for the season.
If he doesn’t get picked up in the Rule 5 draft, he could potentially start as high as AA Portland, and if he rebounds from 2013 some, he could easily become a trading chip that could land a lot more than Brandon Jacobs got the Boston Red Sox before the 2013 trade deadline.