The Cincinnati Reds farm system has improved over the year. With additions like Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo, they have built one of the best minor league systems in all baseball. There is one prospect in particular who is making waves, though. That prospect is shortstop Elly De La Cruz. The 18-year-old is dynamite with both the bat and the glove. It remains to be seen when Reds fans see him in the big leagues.
Reds Farm System
Get Off the Tracks; the Freight Train is Coming
Elly De La Cruz, a switch-hitting shortstop, is batting .312/.363/.650 (1.013 OPS) in his last 65 games with 21 HR, 14 doubles, six triples and 26 stolen bases.
Promoted on July 22, he’s fourth-youngest position player in Double-A, per Baseball America. pic.twitter.com/sc5hCJ2NHT
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) August 7, 2022
Elly De La Cruz has impressed everyone in the Reds organization this year. Between two levels of Minor League baseball this year, De La Cruz has raked. For High-A Dayton, Elly slashed .303/.360/.609 with 20 homers and 52 RBI. He also added in 28 steals in 32 attempts to boot. Over a 73-game span, De La Cruz posted a .968 OPS and a solid .935 fielding percentage. Since being promoted to Double-A Chattanooga, he has hit .304/.343/.594 with 4 homers and 12 RBI over 15 games.
The Reds have a legitimate blue chip prospect in the making, though. The way that De La Cruz plays the game, he will remind you a lot of New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor. There are plenty of striking similarities as well. Both players are switch hitters and play a great middle infield. That’s not all, as both players possess a captivating ability to draw crowds. Lindor was, and still is, one of baseball’s premier shortstops. Elly De La Cruz is well on his way to being that same guy, and he’s only 18 years old.
He’s Young, but He’s Almost Ready
The Reds aren’t known to promote players as young as De La Cruz, but it is inevitable. He’s succeeded at every level of professional baseball, forcing the issue of becoming a cornerstone for the franchise. In perspective, Álex Rodríguez put up very similar numbers in a small timeframe in the minors. Over seven minor league seasons, A-Rod hit .319/.384/.591 with 41 homers and 145 RBI. He debuted in 1994 at the ripe age of 18 years old.
He’s going down that same path for the Reds. De La Cruz likely will not hit .358 in his rookie season, which tells you just how good Rodriguez was. He can hit around the .300 mark, as he has the makings to be a fantastic young shortstop for the Reds in the future. Imagine the middle infield, former NL Rookie of the Year Jonathan India at second, and De La Cruz at shortstop. Couple that with Noelvi Marte at third base and Cristian Encarnacion-Strand at first base, and the Reds could possess one of the best young infields in baseball.
The switch-hitting shortstop is forcing the issue with how well he plays. It will not be long until he makes the Major Leagues; when he does, it will be a spectacle for Reds fans to watch. Hopefully, by the time he earns his call to the big club, the Reds are in contention. De La Cruz will be a welcome addition to the Reds’ big league club. For now, you can catch him raking in Chattanooga. It won’t be long until the Reds’ promising prospect becomes a household name. When he does, be ready because this kid is the real deal.