Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers lost their season series to the Cincinnati Reds, with all their games coinciding with the debut of top prospect Elly De La Cruz.
The 21-year-old was called up for a June 6 game against the Dodgers, which saw Reds win 9-8 as De La Cruz went 1-for-2 with a double in his MLB debut.
Since then, he’s hit .277/.322/.473 with seven home runs, 37 runs scored, 20 RBI, 17 stolen bases and a 104 wRC+ across 46 games. In addition, De La Cruz’s electric play has helped provide a spark to the Reds as they sit in first place of the National League Central.
Players and fans have all taken notice of De La Cruz, and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also had high praise for the blossoming star, who went 4-for-5 with a home run in the series finale at Dodger Stadium.
“He is as toolsy as any player in the big leagues,” Roberts said prior to the weekend series beginning. “The way he carried himself, the poise on the field, on a Major League field, so early in his career was remarkable. He’s a human highlight film. I like watching the highlights much more than in real-time, firsthand.
“But what a special talent It’s good for the game of baseball.”
De La Cruz projects as a five-tool player, but bat to ball-skills may limit him as a four-tool player in the long-term.
De La Cruz not without his flaws, with a 32.5% strikeout rate compared to a 6.1% walk rate and a ground ball rate of 53.3%, but he makes up for that with his athleticism and power.
De La Cruz currently ranks in the 100th percentile of sprint speed, 99th percentile of arm strength, 98th percentile of max exit velocity and 84th percentile in outs above average.
His 30.4 feet per second sprint speed is tied with Bobby Witt Jr. and Bubba Thompson for the fastest in baseball, and De La Cruz’s max exit velocity of 116.6 mph puts him a similar category to players such as Shohei Ohtani, Julio Rodríguez and Ronald Acuña Jr.
In most years, De La Cruz would be among the National League Rookie of the Year favorites, but Ariana Diamondbacks All-Star Corbin Carroll has that all but wrapped up.
Elly De La Cruz gave Dodgers trouble
In six games against the Dodgers this season, De La Cruz hit .400/.464/.880 with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, three RBI and seven runs scored.
The Dodgers won’t need to worry about trying to contain the breakout rookie again this year unless the teams meet in the 2023 MLB postseason.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!