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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ismael Cruz played two pro seasons, turned Latin scout

Ismael Cruz 1990 Batavia Clippers card
The Mets signed 16-year-old Venezuelan Wilmer Flores in 2007 and talking up the signing to was Ismael Cruz.

"Flores is the biggest international signing this year, and we are very excited at the opportunity to have him in our organization," Cruz told "Many teams were bidding higher for him, and he chose to come to the Mets ahead of the others for the opportunity to play in our organization."

Cruz touted Flores as the team's director of international operations, part of a long career in various scouting positions, searching for talent around Latin America and elsewhere.

Cruz' scouting career came after a playing career, though one not nearly as successful as Flores'. Flores started 2013 as a 21-year-old knocking on the door of the majors. Cruz' playing career lasted just two seasons, never getting above low-A.

Cruz' career in baseball began in 1989, taken by the Phillies in the 21st round, out of Eckerd College in Florida.

With the Phillies, Cruz started at rookie Martinsville. He hit .271 over 43 games, knocking in 16.

For 1990, Cruz moved to short-season Batavia, hitting .252 there over 45 games, with 12 RBI. But that second season was also the last for the 20-year-old.

Soon after, Cruz started his new career, as a scout. He scouted for the Pirates and Reds and also served as an agent, according to From 2002 to 2005, Cruz served as director of Latin American operations for the Expos/Nationals.

Cruz then moved to to the Mets. In late-2011, Cruz moved to the Blue Jays as Toronto's director of Latin American operations.

In December 2011, Cruz spoke to reporters about the impending bidding war for Cuban sensation Yoennis Cespedes.

"He might be the best to come out of Cuba," Cruz told reporters. "The question for everyone is how much you want to pay for that, and that is up to each team to decide.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,193
Made the Majors: 680 - 57.0%
Never Made Majors: 513-43.0%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 293
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 174

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