The Houston Astros have been busy in nearly every signing market. They began the international signing period with the largest bonus pool in the MLB, so the flexibility was there to grab some intriguing prospects. Since the year began, they’ve signed two Mexican League players in Leo Haras and Japhet Amador, and several players from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, as well. But it was their most recent signing that may have the highest growth ceiling.
On Oct. 3, the Astros signed talented Dominican Republic outfielder Bryan De La Cruz for $170,000. Cruz is only 16 years old and already stands at a hulking 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds. Given that he’s only 16, he has tons of room to grow. The scouting report on Cruz is that he hits with tremendous power from the right side and his speed has been gradually increasing since the scouting period began. He was initially a short stop, but has since made the move to center field.
Obviously, it’s way too early to anoint him the next Yasiel Puig, but the potential is there, and from a size standpoint, he may grow to be even bigger than the Cuban defector while still maintaining his ever-increasing speed. He’s got six years to develop in an Astros’ system that has been producing some very positive results.
The only thing left to do now is wait and hope that Cruz’ raw talent can be honed into a machine. There’s no denying he’s got the skill set, he just has to refine it.