This is part of Ben Badler’s 2020-21 international signing day preview. You can also find his international big board of 2020 prospects here.
The Dominican Republic is home to the top player the Nationals are expected to sign in the next signing period, shortstop Armando Cruz. With a bonus likely to be around $4 million, Cruz might end up being the highest-paid player in the class, or at least close to it. There are more questions with Cruz’s bat relative to other top shortstops in the class, but he’s a defensive wizard with hands that are among the best some scouts have seen for his age. He has the ability to make the flashy play because of his hands and arm strength, but he’s also a smart, savvy player with a good internal clock and a high baseball IQ in all facets of the game.
With a $5,348,100 bonus pool, a deal of around $4 million for Cruz would take up the majority of Washington’s pool space. Beyond Cruz, Venezuelan righthander Genderson Zapata is another target for its class. So are three Dominican players from El Niche’s program (the academy where the Nationals signed Juan Soto), righthander Doimil Perez and outfielders Enmanuel Ramirez and Cristian Batista.