According to multiple reports this morning, the Washington Nationals have signed a total of eleven international prospects on this year’s International Signing Day, including 16-year-old infielder Armando Cruz, who’s reportedly receiving a $3.9M bonus.
MLB Pipeline’s scouting report on the shortstop said Cruz, who was ranked 5th on their list of the top international prospects in this year’s class “... might be the best defender at any position in this year’s class,” noting that the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic-born infielder is, “... known as a plus defender with an extraordinary combination of footwork and hands.”
Armando Cruz's glove— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) December 30, 2020
The Nationals are expected to give him one of the largest signing bonuses of the 2020-21 international class next month.
Top 50 here: https://t.co/c4ik59pzIX pic.twitter.com/VcjawZFlrW
As MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez noted in a write-up on Cruz’s deal, the Nationals have a total of $5,348,100 to spend on bonuses this year.
Offensively, MLB Pipeline’s scouts say that Cruz, “... has shown good bat speed and a slight upstroke with his swing. He consistently barrels up the ball and is proficient at hitting line drives across the entire outfield,” though he doesn’t currently have much power at the dish.
The Athletic’s Britt Ghiroli was first (we saw) with the news on the Nationals’ signings for this year’s class.
RHP Gustavo Rivas 450K (VZ)— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) January 15, 2021
RHP Genderson Zapata 200K (VZ)
LHP Gabriel Agostini 170K (VZ)
OF Jean Estrada 90K (VZ)
RHP Jeffem Leon 10K (Aruba)
Nats bonus pool for this signing period was $5,348,100. Signing bonuses of $10K or less don't count toward a team's bonus pool. (2/2)
Washington Post writer Jesse Dougherty too had the names and bonuses this morning as we wait for an official announcement from the team on this year’s international class:
Can confirm the Nationals have signed shortstop Armando Cruz to a $3.9 million bonus, the highest they've ever given to an international prospect. Multiple people have mentioned this in the last day. The bonus, though, has fluctuated a bit.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) January 15, 2021
Gustavo Rivas (RHP, VZ) — $450K— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) January 15, 2021
Genderson Zapata (RHP, VA) — $200K
Gabriel Agostini (LHP, VZ) — $170K
Jean Estrada (OF, VZ) — $90K
Jeffem Leon (RHP, Aruba) — $10K
MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez has the pics on Cruz making things official with the Nationals, try not to get blinded by the bling on Vice President, Assistant General Manager, International Operations Johnny DiPuglia’s finger:
Armando Cruz, #5 on @MLBPipeline’s Top 30 Int’l Prospects list, makes it official with the #Nationals. pic.twitter.com/vLok0AEje4— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) January 15, 2021
More info on this year’s signings when/if the Nationals make it available...