Fantasy baseball rankings update: Cruz among rookies on the rise

Oneil Cruz of the Pittsburgh Pirates is scoring a lot of positive early reviews. Getty Images

Fantasy baseball managers often overlook how unreliable unproven rookies can be, and it is little surprise that Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz leads ESPN's most-added list. Cruz, standing at an imposing 6-foot-7 and possessing immense power potential, looks like a special player. He should have been in the major leagues all season, but, well, that's baseball. He's here now and while his initial statistics tell us little, he nevertheless moves way up in my latest category-based roto rankings. Hitting isn't easy, but Cruz may be a difference maker right away, perhaps the NL's version of Seattle Mariners rookie star Julio Rodriguez.

Cruz, who played in two games for the Pirates late last season and hardly looked overwhelmed then, knocked in seven runs in a four-game series last week versus the pitching-weak Chicago Cubs, then struggled against the more formidable Tampa Bay Rays this past weekend. Hey, join the club. Cruz has yet to homer or draw a walk, but give him time. The Pirates play the terrible Washington Nationals this week. Next week the Cincinnati Reds are on tap and a Coors Field series versus the Colorado Rockies ends the first half of the team's season in a few weeks. Cruz will face far easier pitching on a regular basis than the likes of Tampa Bay's Shane McClanahan.