- Full name Israel Adolfo Cruz
- Born 06/01/1997 in Maracay, Venezuela
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 170 / Bats: R / Throws: R
Organization Prospect Rankings
Cruz signed with the Rangers for $30,000 just before the 2014 Dominican Summer League season began. He was an under-the-radar pitcher at the time with a skinny build, good athleticism and a quick arm up to 91 mph. When he repeated the DSL in 2015, Cruz's stuff jumped, with his fastball sitting in the low-90s and touching as high as 95 mph. He didn't miss a ton of bats, but he was around the strike zone and showed feel for three pitches. His changeup was his best secondary pitch when he signed and is still a tick ahead of his curveball, but his curveball has improved since then, giving him a chance to develop three average pitches. He's not quite as advanced as fellow Rangers righthander Jonathan Hernandez, but the two have some similarities in terms of stuff, build, athleticism and feel for pitching. Cruz could follow in Hernandez's path in 2016 and boost his stock if he continues on the same trajectory when he makes his U.S. debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League.