Just two months ago Jordan Cruz thought he had played his final game of competitive baseball. As a four-year letterman at Kansas State, Cruz was ready to advance to the next level in his baseball career. However, after 50 rounds of the MLB Draft his name was never called. All the long hours in the batting cages and hard work in the weight room were for naught, as the 23 year-old was about to do what most other college graduates his age do and that is get a real job.
Jordan understood his reality at the time and was prepared to move on. "You had to hang them up, you didn't have much of a choice after that. Church league softball started up in a couple of weeks and I was planning on doing some of that and find a real job."
However on a day that I'm sure he will never forget, Jordan got a call that would change his mind on his future. "It was a great feeling getting a call from Detroit," said Cruz. "I was very proud to be able to come and play for them."
Just like that Jordan Cruz was now a professional baseball player, and all the hard work he had put in was well worth it. When asked if he held any grudges for teams not drafting him, he responded the only way he knew how. "A lot of kids dreamed of being able to have this opportunity and I'm lucky to have it."
As a high school standout in Hutchinson, Kansas, Cruz decided that he was going to stay close to home and play for Kansas State. His senior season he became the Wildcats' starting right fielder and batted .324 with 11 home runs and 52 RBI. The left-handed hitter finished his collegiate career by leading K-State to its first ever NCAA tournament appearance. Jordan felt it was the perfect place for him to improve his game and have fun along the way. "Kansas State was a great place to play, small town, good coaching staff, great fans, and it was a lot of fun to come back my senior year and have a great year like we did."
Now that Cruz was with a big league organization, he had time to reflect on what his draft snub did to his attitude. "You've got to learn to enjoy it as much as you can," said Jordan. Playing by those words have gotten him a chance to prove his ability as an every day outfielder for the GCL Tigers. As a matter of fact, he has the team lead in just about every offensive category and is fast approaching the league lead in home runs. His reason for success, you ask? "I just come out here everyday and try and have as much fun as I possibly can."
Ok so maybe there is a little more to it than that. "I got a lot of good coaching in college", said Cruz. "Theses coaches have helped me adjust to wooden bats and professional pitching." So with help from all around, Jordan Cruz has become a face and a name to look for in the coming years.