June 17, 2024

Cubs to add elite No. 4 international prospect

David Ross Is Primed To Be A Successful Replacement To Joe Maddon As Cubs  Manager

The Cubs have picked up a Dominican shortstop prospect from this year’s international market whose baseball instincts are far beyond his 17 years of age.

According to an industry source, the North Siders agreed to a $4 million deal with Fernando Cruz, MLB.com’s No. 4 international prospect, as the 2024 signing period opened Monday. The club has not yet confirmed the agreement.

The Cubs forfeited $500,000 from their pool after signing Dansby Swanson, who rejected a qualifying offer from the Braves, leaving Chicago with a pool of $5.152 million.

Cruz sports a tantalizing set of tools that brim with upside. Known as a hitter capable of spraying the ball to all fields because of his tremendously strong hands and forearms, Cruz has enough strength in his swing to enable him to hit the ball to right field as if he were a left-handed batter. With an easy load and superb bat speed, his sound offensive approach will lend itself to 20-to-25 homer power as he matures. Despite being known as an aggressive swinger, he has an advanced feel for the barrel.

An alert defender with a quick first step and an above-average arm, Cruz has the look and tools to hold down the shortstop position long-term. His 6-foot, 180-pound frame is muscular and lean with little body fat, enabling him to already grade out as a plus runner who can impact the game both with the glove and on the basepaths.

Cruz trains with Mejia Top 10, a member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program.

An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between Jan. 15 and Dec. 15. He must turn 16 before he signs and be 17 before Sept. 1 the following year.

Reds pitcher Fernando Cruz persevered for 15 years to make MLB debut

That means players born between Sept. 1, 2006, and Aug. 31, 2007, will be eligible to sign in the current signing period. Players must be registered with Major League Baseball in advance to be eligible to sign.

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