Saturday, June 12, 2021

Report: The Washington Nationals Sign 16 Year Old International Shortstop Prospect Armando Cruz. (Updated with Full List of International Signees)

Washington Nationals Officially Sign 16 Year Old International Shortstop Prospect Armando Cruz.

Update: 8:10 am EST, January 17, 2021.

Here is the full list of international signees from the Washington Nationals

Update 9:35 am EST:

Here is the full list of international signees (first reported by @Britt_Ghiroli):

  • Enmanuel Ramirez (OF, DR) — $200K
  • Doimil Perez (RPH, DR) — $200K
  • Ciristian Batistsa (OF, DR) — $75K
  • Genderson Zapata (RHP, VZ) – $200K
  • Winder Diaz (SS, DR) — $20K
  • Edward de la Cruz (C, DR) — $10K

As we have been reporting all week long, according to a report the Washington Nationals have signed 16-year-old International shortstop prospect Armando Cruz. According to reports, The Washington Nationals have agreed to a 3.95 million dollar signing bonus for the international prospect.

Teams from around the league can sign international prospects as today is the international free agent signings. 

According to MLB Pipeline, Cruz is the 5th ranked international prospect and will receive a rumored 4 million dollar signing bonus from the Nationals. Cruz was recently the 4th ranked prospect. 

The Nationals History of International Signings

The Nationals International Signings can be looked at in two eras, pre Smiley Gonzalez and post Smiley Gonzalez. Smiley Gonzalez was a prospect for the Nationals who signed in 2006. Three years later, he was the focus of a federal investigation because he had lied about his age; this would cause the Nationals to rebuild their entire international signing process. 

After 2009 the Nationals began a whole new process for signing international players, and Nationals fans have Johnny DiPuglia to thank for turning the system around. Once DiPuglia started to make changes, the signings began to roll in again. Players like Wilmer Difo, Raudy Read, and Reynaldo Lopez would join the team in the years to follow.

These signings all led up to 2013 where things would begin to change. The Nationals signed the 29th ranked international prospect that year in Anderson Franco for $900,000 and a guy named Victor Robles for just over $200,000. After signing Robles, the number of signings began to increase.

In 2014 the Nationals would use their $2,188,000 to sign five prospects, who unfortunately did not turn into much. In 2015 the Nationals international signing team would produce their biggest signing ever in Juan Soto (note: they almost snagged Acuna too).

Washington Nationals Prospect Armando Cruz

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.

*We will update this story as more information and quotes become available*

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