According to reports, this year, the Nationals will sign Armando Cruz, a 16-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic. According to MLB Pipeline, Cruz is the 5th ranked in the international prospects and will receive a rumored 4 million dollar signing bonus from the Nationals. Cruz was recently the 4th ranked prospect; either way, the Washington Nationals are getting an up and coming prospect at Shortstop.
With that being said, we wanted to take a closer look at the shortstop prospect, with the caveat that he is only 16 years old.
Born: Dominican Republic
Date of Birth: 1/16/2004
Cruz might be the best defender at any position in this year’s class, and he’s a player to watch now and for years to come.
Cruz’s medium build has drawn comparisons to a young Jose Iglesias, which says a lot about the player he could become. He’s known as a plus defender with an extraordinary combination of footwork and hands. He has also shown plus range with an average arm now that projects to be well above average as he continues to mature and develop. He already displays above average carry on his throws.
Cruz is trained by John Carmona, a member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program in Santo Domingo.
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According to PerfectGame.org, the world’s largest and most comprehensive scouting organization, Cruz has some impressive stats both at the plate and in the field. Here are just a couple:
- Max Barrel Speed Cruz ranks in the 70% percentile, and his top result of 63.521 MPH. The class average was 60.54 MPH.
- The exit velocity of his hits ranked in the 95.5% percentile, and his top result of 82 MPH. The class average was 70 MPH.
- Impact Momentum, a combination of the barrel speed at the impact of the ball and the bat’s weight, was ranked in the 67% percentitle and his top result was 23.114. The class average was 28.81.
The future looks bright for Cruz, and at age 16, the sky could be the limit. It will be interesting to see how the Washington Nationals handle his development at such a young age and how he handles pressure once he starts to rise through the ranks of the minor leagues and eventually the Majors. Either way, it’s going to be fun to watch this prospect over the next decade develop into a baseball player.