Can I interest you in looking hilariously far into the future for some good Chicago Cubs news?
As you know by now, the International Free Agent market involves a whole lot of “early” “negotiation” on where a prospect may ultimately wind up when he becomes eligible to sign (around age 16). So, for example, we already know the prospects at the top of the Cubs’ upcoming IFA class, even though it doesn’t open for signing until January 15.
But if that’s not far enough in the future for you, how about dreaming on a 2024 prospect who it sounds like is expected to wind up with the Cubs? Dominican shortstop Fernando Cruz might be about as good as an international prospect gets, and I’ve been hearing about him for over a year now.
Joe Doyle is hearing the same, and attaches some video that is pretty wow-worthy when you consider that Cruz is just 15:
Doyle more fully wrote up Cruz at Prospects Live, and the praise is strong. Among the comments:
“Yeah, he’s probably the complete package in this class,” one AL international scouting director said. “If you’re doing a comparison, it’s a bit like Roderick Arias. Just balanced and complete. Nothing weak about his game. He does it all. And it’s polished already.”
An NL international scouting director agreed.
“If there was a draft and we had the No. 1 pick, he’d be the guy, no doubt,” he said. “He’s the consensus best player. And with the history of Dominican players and shooting up boards and the competition he’s seen, he’s the guy.”
Like I said, this is all still reaaaally far away, since you’re talking about a kid who won’t even play in stateside ball until, what, 2025? But this is part of how you keep the pipeline flowing, and you have to plan far in advance.