Fernando Cruz finally made his MLB debut Friday night for the Cincinnati Reds, and it was all the rookie hoped it would be. Cruz is different from most rookies. He has about 10 years on them. But that didn't stop him from absolutely dominating Friday night.
The Reds took on the Colorado Rockies at Great American Ball Park. Cruz came into the game in the sixth inning with the Reds down 2-1. Fernando Cruz threw a perfect inning with two strikeouts. Both strikeouts came off sliders the batters whiffed on.
The journey to the Major Leagues for Fernando Cruz is quite the story. Born in Puerto Rico, Fernando Cruz was drafted all the way back in 2007 by the Kansas City Royals. The Royals drafted Cruz at his natural position, which was as an infielder.
After struggling to find his footing as an infielder within the Royals organization, Cruz made the switch to become a pitcher. In 2011, Cruz dedicated his life to learning how to become an effective MLB pitcher. He was eventually released by the Royals in 2012.
It can't be easy to just switch your position and compete for a roster spot over guys who have been pitching their whole lives. But Cruz didn't give up after being released. After pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter League, he made his way to the Chicago Cubs organization in 2015.
Fernando Cruz doesn't have an ounce of quit in him
After not finding a spot with the Cubs, Cruz made his way to the independent baseball leagues. Independent leagues are for people who just really love to play baseball or are still working on their dream of becoming an MLB player. The independent leagues pay very little money, if any at all. Very few baseball players make it out of the independent leagues.
Cruz went on to play in the Mexican League in 2018 and 2021. This is where he was found by the Reds. The Reds signed him in January, and he played for their farm team, the Louisville Bats.
Fernando Cruz is a role model for everyone who has a dream they want to chase. Cruz could have given up so many times during his track to getting to the Major Leagues, but he didn't. He persisted because he knew how good he was. This is a great story about perseverance.