INF Trei Cruz, 37th round (1,113th overall) - Washington Nationals

Photo: Rice University Athletics

Photo: Rice University Athletics

With their 37th round (1,113th overall) pick, the Washington Nationals have selected INF Trei Cruz.

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Born: Toronto, Ont.

Bats/Throws: Switch/Right

Height/Weight: 6’2” 200 lbs.

School: Rice University

Coach: Matt Bragga

Previously Drafted: Houston Astros in 35th round in 2017

Previous Teams: PUF Capitalists, Episcopal High School, Marucci Elite Houston

Previous Coaches: Jose Cruz, Jr., Wayne Graham, Matt Fox, Kevin Witt, Mike Zirelli

Good genes: Father Jose Cruz Jr. was a former 30/30 outfielder with the Toronto Blue Jays. His grandfather Jose Cruz Sr. hit .284 and had 2,251 hits in 19 MLB seasons from 1970 to 1988. Brother Antonio was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 37th round in 2018.

Twitter Handle: @CruzTrei

2019 season with the Rice University Owls: Started 58 games … Moved to shortstop and was the only position he played … Tied for 15th in the nation among the NCAA statistical leaders (and was second in Conference USA) with six triples … Topped the Owls with 121 total bases and 50 runs scored … Finished second on Owls in batting average (.305), hits (71), home runs (9), RBI (44), slugging (.519), walks (35) and on-base percentage (.393)... Hit .325 in the second half of the season and .330 in league-only games ... Collected two or more hits in a game 20 times, including a career-high four hits in a game two different times... Went 4-for-6 with two home runs and two triples in a game against Rhode Island (Feb. 17), accumulating 14 total bases which was the fifth-highest single game total in Owls’ history… Drove in a total of nine runs that day against Rhode Island which was the second-highest single total in school history (and just one behind the Rice record of 10 set by his father in 1995) ... A great clutch hitter in 2019, he batted .424 (25-of-59) with runners in scoring position… ... He turned or started 28 of the team’s 41 double plays.

2018 season with the Rice University Owls: Started 58 contests at second base… Topped the team with 40 walks and shared the team lead with 45 RBI … Tallied two or more RBI in a game a team-best 12 times … Batted .315 with runners on base and .328 with men in scoring position … Had 19 multi-hit games … During one stretch, he reached base in 15-straight games … At second base, he turned or started 35 of the Owls’ 46 double plays.

2017: Competed in summer ball for the PUF Capitalists of the California Collegiate League ... In 35 games, he batted .322 with 39 hits, 37 runs and 19 stolen bases … For Episcopal High School: Led team with .458 batting average ... His last at bat was a game-winning home run in extra innings to win the state championship ... Competed at the Blue Jays Academy Tournament 12.

Honours

2019 Honours: All-Conference USA (second team) … Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week (Feb. 18) … C-USA Hitter of the Week (Feb. 18)

2018 Honours: Freshman All-America Team (Collegiate Baseball) … Conference USA All-Freshman Team

2017 Honours: Named to the Preseason All-Greater Houston team … Named PerfectGame Honorable Mention All-America … Name to first team All-Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) and to the league's all-tournament team

Baseball preview: Trei Cruz carries on family legacy

Bob Elliott