The thesaurus has run out of ways to describe Elly De La Cruz. He just does things that only a few players in baseball can do, but he does all of them while others only do one of those things. More of that was on display on Thursday night in Syracuse. The Louisville Bats picked up the win on the night, moving them over the .500 mark for the first time since July of 2016. And a big part of that was thanks to a 2-run, go-ahead home run by De La Cruz that came off of his bat at 118 MPH and cleared the scoreboard. The home run led to one of the more impressive calls of the season from the Syracuse Mets broadcaster.

“My Goodness! Elly De La Cruz will be one of the faces of baseball someday soon. He just wrecked Joey Lucchesi’s night with one of the longest home runs I have ever seen in person. That scoreboard in left center field in shaped like the state of New York and Elly De La Cruz hit it somewhere to Canada.”

There was some slight exaggeration there – the home run *only* went 450 feet according to the estimate from Hawkeye/Statcast. But the overall point remains – just wow.

If it seems like there’s been a lot of talk of Elly De La Cruz over the last month, it’s because there has been. He’s the top prospect in baseball. He’s absolutely obliterating the baseball in Triple-A while being one of the youngest players in Triple-A. And he’s doing things on the field that other guys – even big leaguers – aren’t doing from an athletic standpoint. He runs faster than almost everyone. He throws harder than almost everyone – including pitchers. As a switch hitter he’s hitting the baseball harder and farther than almost everyone from both sides of the plate.

When Elly De La Cruz came off of the injured list and joined the Louisville Bats he went 1-21 with no walks and 11 strikeouts to get his season started. It was rough. But he started seeing the ball well after that, and in the 120 plate appearances he’s had since that start he’s hit .333/.442/.717 with eight doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 19 walks, and 28 strikeouts.

Who knows why he’s still in Triple-A at this point. There doesn’t seem to be much of anything for him to prove down there. The one question people had was about his ability to walk more and or cut down on his strikeouts. He’s done both of those things in big ways and done so while hitting for more power than he’s ever done before.  Still, Reds fans are going to have to wait a little longer to see the infielder in Cincinnati. For some reason.

64 Responses

  1. Redlegs1869

    Let’s all hope his MLB debut is on the next home stand.

    • Old Big Ed

      Screw homestands. There is a game in Wrigley Field tonight.

      • TR

        And EDLC would look very good next week at Fenway Park.

      • Redlegs1869

        @OBE: Agree but we 100% know that’s not happening. At least today. Line ups out and surprise-he ain’t in it.

      • Old Big Ed

        EDLC must be having visa problems getting out of Syracuse. I don’t know why they play games in Sicily, anyway. Visa problems always come up.

      • To

        Those of saying to move Senzel to the outfield are not taking into consideration of him getting injured easily, he has played very well at 3rd and needs to stay there! Also, while Steer is hitting well right now, he’s not a cleanup guy. Why not put Cruz there, afterall he’s proving that everything he hits is like 118 mph from either side of the plate. Sorry, but that dude is cleanup until he fails!

  2. Jim t

    Doug would playing EDLC at SS and moving McCain to the outfield reasonable considering McCain has experience in the outfield?

    • AC

      Not Doug, but from where I sit the best defensive infield would seem to be ELDC at short McClain to second and India to third. Senzel can fill in the outfield and sub second and third. Somebody’s probably going to have to go in the next year if Marte keeps this up, though.

      • LarkinPhillips

        I agree AC. I made a very similar post over on the RML this morning about this.

      • The Duke

        Senzel becomes a super sub if he can’t hold down an OF spot. A .713 OPS this year and a career .669 OPS screams bench guy. I was as high as anyone on him back in the day, but he’s very close to the point where he just is what he is, which looks like a bench player. India has a .791 OPS this year, career .783. In his very limited MLB sample size, McClain is has a .962 OPS. Elly De La Cruz is the top prospect in baseball. The near future of 1B seems to be Steer and/or Encarnacion-Strand.

      • Old Big Ed

        Yes. Marte is not far behind EDLC in his output since the first couple weeks of the season. Nine SBs, too.

      • Stock

        The best defensive infield is:

        1B: India
        2B: McLain
        3B: Senzel
        SS: EDLC

        I can’t see India being a better defensive 3B than Senzel.

      • DHud

        Agree – if Senzel gets pushed to bench super sub, I’ll feel pretty confident that this team is a real contender. If Senzel stays as an IF regular, probably fringey contenders

      • The Duke

        India at 3B and Senzel in LF is better than the opposite for the overall team defense. India’s bat (.379 OBP) needs to be in the lineup hitting leadoff.

      • The Duke

        The numbers say that the Reds strongest lineup right now would be:

        1. Jonathan India, 3B
        2. Matt McClain, 2B
        3. Elly De La Cruz, SS
        4. Spencer Steer, 1B
        5. TJ Friedl, CF
        6. Jake Fraley, RF
        7. Nick Senzel, LF
        8. Tyler Stephenson, DH
        9. Luke Maile, C

        Could really use some big bats for the corner OF spots.

      • Tim

        I agree with Duke in his lineup except I would prefer Ty Steve to catch rather than DH. His bat is good for a catcher buy way below where a DH should be. Eliminate one of the catchers and bring up CES as well.

      • Stock

        I like Friedl at leadoff. His .371 OBP isn’t much worse than India’s .379 OBP. India has more power. I am not sure McLain can continue to maintain an OBP greater than .350 but the three of them work quite well at the top right now and in the order they are currently batting.

      • redfanorbust

        Hey AC. Where does Steer go? Can India play third? Would he be willing to? Would he be better, same or worse defencely at 3b than he is at 2b?

    • Steve

      Where does he play if you bring him up? I dont think you can play him at SS over McClain. My only thought is can he play CF?

    • Tom

      One thing who is Doug and secondly it’s McLain not McCain….that’d be a stupid move. The Reds infield has been playing stellar with Steer at 1st, India at 2nd, McLain at ss, and Senzel at 3rd. You cannot bust that up and no way do you move Senzel to the outfield to get hurt again. De La Cruz is a great athlete so you simply move him to center which allows him to shine with his speed and his cannon for an arm. This way Friedl stays in left and Fraley in right. Players can easily adapt quickly and I believe that De La Cruz would do so in center! Oh, keep Stephenson as catcher most of the time and dh occasionally to play more…

      • Phillip

        Absolutely. Just as Hamilton’s speed was wasted at shortstop, they need to move EDLC to CF. He has the arm for it too.

  3. LarkinPhillips

    The last time Doug made an article with this tone was about McLain. He was called up a few days later. Hopefully this follows the same pattern with EDLC.

    • magi210

      Does this mean Doug is pulling strings behind the scenes? The true puppetmaster of the Reds franchise? 🙂

      • The Duke

        Gray is actually his middle name.

        Doug Gray Castellini

      • Mario

        Doug is probably very upset at that comment. I imagine he has typed out several replies and keeps deleting them since they violate his policy of name calling & foul language.

    • Tim

      I don’t understand why EDLC is still in Louisville come on Reds call him up and this team can contend!!!!!

    • Andrew

      Actually, the last two times. Same thing happened with Salazar promotion

  4. Tim

    Perhaps the Reds have too much power in the lineup already and perhaps they have an over abundance of switch hitters.

  5. Jimbo44CN

    They can put him somewhere, short, 3rd, DH. Though I think when he first comes up he should play in the field somewhere as sitting on the bench waiting to DH is probably too much think time for a rookie. With Myers, Barrero, Maile, etc we can certainly find someplace for him.

    • The Duke

      When EDLC comes up, it’s as the every day SS.

  6. SR

    At some point, the reds are likely to have to part with some well thought of prospects to fill in the holes in their roster. ( a proven starter with some gas still in his tank that can player mentor comes to mind). When they do they have to pick the right ones to keep. I don’t think they are using these rebuilding years to provide them with MLB experience data to make informed decisions. Eric Davis and Billy Hamilton were drafted as shortstops and were great outfielders. Senzel, not so much. Where do McClain and EDLC fall? We don’t know, but we aren’t trying them in those roles. Hope we make the right personnel choices in the next two years when it comes to trades. 12 m

  7. Indy Red Man

    Just hope he doesn’t maim/kill a pitcher. Stanton doesn’t even hit them that hard? It would take Bruce Lee on the mound to react in time on 118 mph and it feels like he hits’em 110+ quite often

  8. Doc

    I hope he spends 3 more weeks in Louisville since I will be hitting the road and will take in a couple of Louisville games in mid-June! That’s all the reason I need to vote to delay his promotion!

    • Mario

      Doc, I knew there had to be a reason. Weren’t you one of RLN that said McLain wasn’t ready. I’m sorry if my memory is off just want some folks to eat some crow on that one. McLain was ready in ST. Letting him dominate in AAA for a few weeks wasn’t a horrible idea. Waiting until May 15 to get him here was. I definitely want to see Elly up here now but I am not ready to say he won’t struggle. With his batting stance, he has a large strike zone. Much better for him to take his lumps this season though. Same for CES – they won’t hit for a high average but the power is real.

      • Mario

        Well I just researched a bit. Among others, it was actually Mr Positive himself LDS that said McLain didn’t have enough PA (113 at the time) to justify a promotion. That being said, I hope I didn’t jinx McLain into hitting below the Mendoza line 2 weeks from now. Guys are going to have ups and downs because that’s what MLB players do. Votto is a notorious slow starter. Goldschmidt was taking heat from Cards fans in June 2021 before getting smoking hot and leading that playoff push. Bichette was very average most of last year before a hot September.

      • LDS

        Saying McLain didn’t have enough ABs to draw conclusions is still true. That he’s playing pretty well thus far is also true. His SO rate is still too high but improving.

  9. LDS

    Still like to see the Reds swing a trade with Senzel while he’s producing. My guess is he’ll injure himself again if he moves back to the OF. Maybe India to LF, McLain to 2nd, and EDLC at SS. Though personally, I’d rather see EDLC move to CF. He’d likely be the best CF the Reds have had in a very long time.

    • Stock

      I fully expect him to be the best player of all time at whatever position he plays. Even 2B. And the Reds had one of the best of all time at 2B.

    • Mario

      Do you honestly expect the Reds to make such position moves during the season? I said it over the winter that each one of our IF prospects needs to take reps in the OF and play there 1-2x per week. That did not happen so I don’t think it will happen during the season. A few trades are more likely. One of the reasons, I believe India is going to be trade bait. I hope I am wrong and he accepts a LF job. With Senzel’s start in LF this week, it seems he has already been told to get reps out there if he wants to continue to play once Elly is called up.

      • Old Big Ed

        I like the idea of India moving to 1B. It kinda fits him to stay in the infield, plus he would have the moxie to make the move in mid-season. That would mean finding a spot for either Speer, likely LF or 3B, or for Senzel, likely LF or CF or 3B, plus they can all DH a bit and can all get regular rest. And moving either India, Senzel or Steer to LF would require moving Fraley mostly to RF.

        They would have to find a place for CES when he is ready, and I think Marte has a very good chance of being ready next season.

        The one thing that is clear is that there is no room for Wil Myers when there are so many young players who need ABs.

      • LDS

        Bell will make those moves in the middle of the season. He’s done so already: Barrero, Steer, just to name a couple.

  10. Mark Moore

    Lineup against the Stupid Cubs posted. No Myers again. Did I miss something?

    • wkuchad

      You didn’t, but Myers did. The ball, most of the time he swung at it.

      • LarkinPhillips

        +1000 wkuchad. I laughed out loud when I read that.

    • BK

      This was posted yesterday on the Red’s official website:

      Myers has “a few things going on,” manager David Bell said, but there is no discussion of an IL stint. Bell said he would be available off the bench in Thursday’s contest. Myers, 32, has struggled so far in his first season with the Reds, slashing .189/.257/.283 in 37 games.

      • Mark Moore

        Thanks. Kind of figured it was something like that.

    • Jim Walker

      On the Reds Twitter> Myers has been placed on the 10 day IL with a kidney stone issue. I’ve had one of those for sure and another time probably one that got stuck but then passed itself in the middle of the night as I was considering an ER run. Both were plenty painful.

      • Bill J

        A friend told me it was like a woman having a baby. Said he told his wife if that was true she wasn’t having anymore babies.

      • Votto4life

        My ex-wife had a kidney stone when we first got married. She was in terrible pain. I had to literally carry her from room to room. I hope Wil Myers feels better soon.

  11. MBS

    I really don’t care where they put EDLC when he comes up. SS, 3B, the unlikely CF. I just want to get the best 13 players up, and he’s one of them.

    • Old Big Ed

      If they had a 3-man team, he’d be one of them, too.

  12. Kevin H

    I keep reading India in Lf. Is this something he has mentioned or the organization?

    Or is this some on RLN?

      • MBS

        I feel more like an armature president of baseball operations. But my vote has been for RF.

    • Votto4life

      I think it’s us just trying to make the pieces work. These things often take care of themselves through injuries or under performance. Having too much talent is a nice problem to have IMO.

  13. DW

    Be careful…with big expectations often come big disappointments. All it takes is one injury to really throw off what looks to be a promising career trajectory. I am excited for EDLC, too, but you never know what can happen. He certainly has the potential to be one of the faces of baseball, no doubt.

  14. Moon

    I go to several Lookout games each year when they come to Huntsville. In fact I went last night to watch them play. I will also go out to see them on the 4th of July. Every time I have watched there have been 1-2 guys that clearly are future major league players. Hunter Green, Nick Lodolo, EDLC. This year is different and no one jumps off the page. I did not get to see Abbott pitch since he was called up to AAA.
    There some decent players. Noelvi Marte had a decent game. 2 singles in four at bats with a walk. Good plate discipline. He did not hit the ball really hard. I suspect he will get promoted to AAA later in the year and perhaps be ready for Cincy in a year or two.

  15. Votto4life

    I’ll predict EDLC is called up after the All Star Break. The Reds open a 10 game home stand on Friday July 14th. I say that is when he gets the call.

  16. jmb

    His “new school” will balance well with Steer’s “old school” approach.

  17. Melvin

    It’s too bad the Reds are in first place with an extremely powerful lineup that they can’t find room for one of the faces of baseball. Yep it’s too bad. Yesiree bobber.:D

  18. Rcsodak

    Edlc reminds me of a certain cf that was the face of the reds….E Davis. Not too many ss in the league as tall as he is.