DE LA CRUZ, JOAQUIN

Position: Pitcher

DOB: October 13, 1995

Height: 6’2″ / Weight: 195

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

40-man roster: No

How acquired: Free Agent (April 15, 2015)

Profile: Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2013 by the St. Louis Cardinals, De La Cruz began his career as an infielder, hitting .272 with a pair of home runs in two seasons in the Dominican Summer League.  He was released by St. Louis and signed by Milwaukee in 2015, making the move to the mound after joining the Brewers.  He pitched for the DSL Brewers in 2015 and 2016, then returned to start the 2017 season with Milwaukee’s co-op team in the Dominican.  He earned a promotion stateside in June and finished out the year with the AZL Brewers.  A right-hander with a strong arm, De La Cruz has put up good strikeout numbers and keeps the ball down in the zone, generating a ton of ground balls.

2013:  Signed by the Cardinals to a free agent contract, De La Cruz debuted in the Dominican Summer League, playing 42 games and seeing time at both first base and third base.  He hit .215/.335/.281 with six doubles and a home run.

2014:  De La Cruz returned to the DSL Cardinals for a second season in 2014, appearing in 46 games and again playing both infield spots.  He took a step backwards at the plate however, hitting just .127/.213/.152.  He collected just 20 hits in 158 at-bats, and was released by St. Louis at the end of the season.

2015:  The Brewers signed De La Cruz as a free agent and began his conversion to pitching, assigning him to their affiliate in the Dominican Summer League.  He pitched in 15 games there, starting one of them, and went 1-5 with a 4.62 ERA and a pair of saves.

2016:  Milwaukee had De La Cruz return to the Dominican Summer League in 2016, having him work mainly as a starter.  He got the start in 11 of the 12 games he worked in and finished the season with a record of 2-5 to go along with a 3.44 earned run average.

2017:  De La Cruz was back in the DSL for a fifth consecutive season, starting off 2017 with Milwaukee’s co-op team which they shared with the Indians. He made four starts, going 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA and received a promotion to join the AZL Brewers.  He pitched in 11 more games there, starting six of them, and wound up going 4-0 with a 2.53 ERA.