Rookie Sensation: Elly De La Cruz Takes the MLB by Storm With Phenomenal Performance
MLB typically operates in a predictable ecosystem. It has some well-funded, high-performing teams and others, like the Cincinnati Reds, who are not expected to perform well. MLB records highlight Cincinnati Reds’ propensity to be in the latter category despite MLB trade rumors and news that suggest its efforts to change its fate.
Surprisingly, the Reds carried a one-game lead in the National League Central after 91 games. Despite their poor form in earlier seasons, the Reds have defied expectations with their better performance. Even though they have since then lost ground in the division and will most likely not make it to the playoffs, they look like a different team.
This change in the Reds dressing room is mostly thanks to the dynamic 21-year-old third baseman Elly De La Cruz. He made his MLB debut on June 6, when the Reds were 27-33. Since his inclusion in the roster, the Reds moved to 23-12. It’s certainly not a coincidence!
So, let’s take a look at this remarkable MLB rookie who has the makings of becoming a true fan favorite for years to come!
Beyond MLB Trade Rumors and Records: Elly De LA Cruz – a Star in the Making
Elly De La Cruz has inarguably been one of the most exciting rookies in Major League Baseball this season. The 21-year-old promising shortstop has enthralled fans and analysts alike with his prodigious performance.
Originally from Sabana Grande de Boya, Dominican Republic, De La Cruz signed with the Cincinnati Reds as an international free agent in 2018. He didn’t waste much time rising through the Reds’ minor league system and was named their top prospect by Baseball America in 2022.
Elly De La Cruz's Current Stats
Before we delve into the magic Elly De La Cruz brings to the baseball diamond, let’s take a look at this rookie’s latest stats since he joined the MLB:
- Games Played: 68
- Batting Average: .268
- Home Runs: 11
- Stolen Bases: 13
- Runs Batted In (RBIs): 30
- Runs: 31
- OPS: .882
- WAR: 0.7
De La Cruz also enjoyed a great track record in the minor leagues. He has 20 stolen bases and hit .300 with 20 home runs in 120 games last year.
Looking at his combined league stats, you can easily surmise that De La Cruz has been an exceptionally productive player in the short span he has played in MLB. He has the athleticism, speed, offensive play, and power to become a dynamic star of the game.
What Makes De La Cruz the Rookie to Remember?
Even though it would be unfair to credit De La Cruz alone for the Reds’ improved performance, he has certainly brought renewed energy to the team. We credit his incredible talent on the baseball diamond and his ability to be hitting 31% better than the league average.
However, the true hero is his brilliance on the field. His motion-tracking stats are almost a work of fiction. He is in the 98th percentile in arm strength and maximum exit velocity of the ball off the bat and 100th percentile in speed. It means that almost no one throws or hits harder and runs faster than this rookie!
De La Cruz throws out decent runners from the outfield grass at third base and hits missiles out of the middle of his bat. He also moves with shocking fluidity for a guy with a 200-pound, 6-foot-5 frame. De La Cruz hit for the cycle the weekend before the season break as he stole second, third, and home after the same plate appearance. Only Rod Crew, a Hall of Famer, had previously accomplished this feat in 1961.
Simply put, De La Cruz is a rare combination of power, speed, and athletic agility.
Here’s an overview of Elly De La Cruz’s finest statistical performances during the season:
- June 7: He hit his first MLB home run – a rare and impressive 458-foot shot.
- July 3: De La Cruz hit for the cycle against the Atlanta Braves.
- July 10: He stole his 13thbase of the season.
- July 17: He was named the National League Rookie of the Month.
De La Cruz Has the Makings of the Next MLB Great
At merely 21 years of age, Elly De La Cruz still has a long way to go in his MLB career. He has already hit several powerful home runs over 400 feet in the major leagues. He’s also exceptionally quick and has stolen bases at a high rate. He has also thrown out plenty of runners trying to steal second base.
Furthermore, De La Cruz is an exceptional fielder. He has made many reel-worthy plays at shortstop. At such a young age, De La Cruz already has the makings of becoming an iconic defensive shortstop in the MLB.
As one of the most promising rookies this year, here are some things that make De La Cruz a touch above the rest:
- He is having a remarkable first season with a sizzling batting average and more.
- Since he can play both third base and shortstop, De La Cruz is a valuable asset to the Reds.
- His sheer power has helped him hit several remarkable home runs, while his speed has helped him steal bases. He has the makings of a 30-30 player.
- De La Cruz is a natural defensive shortstop with the range to play other infield positions if required.
- As a young rookie, De La Cruz has boundless potential to become a cornerstone of the Reds lineup for years to come. He can also become a fan-favorite name thrown around in MLB trade rumorsduring the next few years.
That said, De La Cruz can work on some aspects of his game to reach his potential. For instance, his plate discipline is slightly lacking, as he has struck out a lot this season. He also needs to work on his consistency to become a true star. Lastly, he must maintain his health and durability to shoot for the stars.
De La Cruz – a Future Star
De La Cruz has an unquestionably bright future in Major League Baseball. He’s already a fan favorite in Cincinnati and has abundant talent to accomplish great things in the years to come.
If you want to learn more about upcoming stars and stay in the loop regarding MLB trade rumors and news, Black Sports Digest is your best friend!