Remember the name Elly De La Cruz.
De La Cruz is the top prospect in the Cincinnati Reds’ farm system and a consensus top-10 prospect in all of baseball. After seeing what he did on Thursday night, it is not hard to understand why.
In the sixth inning of the Louisville Bats’ game against the Syracuse Mets, De La Cruz absolutely demolished a pitch from Joey Lucchesi. It left his bat at 117.7 mph and traveled 450 feet—over the scoreboard in left-center. Yup, you read that right—it went OVER the huge scoreboard behind the wall.
You need to see what De La Cruz did to this pitch:
118 MPH off the bat
Over. The. Scoreboard.
There are no words to describe @ellylacocoa18 🤯 pic.twitter.com/XgnlEhRaDF
— Louisville Bats (@LouisvilleBats) May 26, 2023
Reds fans are, not surprisingly, clamoring for him to get the call to the big leagues.
GIVE HIM TO US!
— Tyler Smith (@tsmith0930) May 26, 2023
Should’ve been called up weeks ago. Man’s on a tear.
— Wes Powell (@wespowell78) May 26, 2023
Could’ve really used this power for the reds today man
— uhjosrph (@uhjosrph) May 26, 2023
Other fans were in awe, too:
— Jacob Maurer (@Maurer_Hour) May 26, 2023
— Steve Jag (@SteveJag123) May 26, 2023
elly is going to be the face of baseball in the near future. get ready. https://t.co/Bneqog8fth
— paco (@AllaireMatt) May 26, 2023
Good lord this dude’s a menace 😈 https://t.co/hBoRWiPmoZ
— Graham and a Half (@GrahamAndAHalf) May 26, 2023
But here’s the really remarkable thing about De La Cruz: That homer wasn’t even unusual for him. On May 9, he hit two equally titanic home runs—one that traveled 456 feet with an exit velocity of 116.6 mph and one that left the bat 117.1 mph and traveled 428 feet. And get this: He hit them from opposite sides of the plate. Earlier in that same game, he had a double that left the bat at 118.8 mph. Since the introduction of Statcast in 2015, no team has had three balls hit that hard in one game, according to MLB’s Sarah Langs.
De La Cruz—a 6’5″ shortstop—was ranked 10th on MLB.com’s preseason list of top prospects after hitting 28 homers last season at High-A and Double A. But his torrid start at Triple A has vaulted him up to No. 4 on that list. In 29 games with Louisville, he’s slashing .283/.383/.608, with eight homers, nine doubles and three triples.
The Reds are in last place and haven’t gotten much out of the shortstop duo of Jose Barreo and Kevin Newman. They did recently call up Matt McLain, their No. 5 prospect, to play short, but with each passing De La Cruz is making a stronger case that he deserves to playing on the other side of the Ohio River.