Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Reds President Has High Praise for Last Year’s Rookie Sensation

The Cincinnati Reds have a promising star in Elly De La Cruz. He has all the tools to be a star as he is expected to take a major step forward this season. After an exciting debut but inconsistent rookie campaign, Nick Krall praised the young hitter during an appearance on Foul Territory.

“He (De La Cruz) is a great player, great person. He’s made some swing adjustments to quiet down his leg kick, and he’s a dynamic talent that can play shortstop. He’s got all the tools in the world. We’re looking for him to get off to a good start and sustain that.”

Elly De La Cruz Is a Budding Superstar

The 22-year-old showed off his three 70-grade skills on multiple occassions last year. Baseball America rated his power, speed and arm as a 70 on the 20-80 scale. De La Cruz was just the third player since 1901 to hit for the cycle in his first 15 career games in the majors. He was the youngest to accomplish the feat since 20-year old Cesae Cedeno did so in 1972. Few rookies hit the ball harder than De La Cruz as only two rookies had a higher average exit velocity that his 91.2. It’s the number that Francisco Lindor and Max Muncy have too.

Behind the Stats of De La Cruz’s Abilities

Only two players in all of the majors hit the ball harder than him last year. Ronald Acuña Jr. hit one 121.2 mph and Giancarlo Stanton hit 119.5 mph. De La Cruz hit one 119.2 mph. His 30.5 feet per second is equal to Bobby Witt Jr. from the Kansas City Royals, and surpassed by no one else. He was first and foruth in the fastest 90-foot splits. No other infielder had a stronger arm either. De La Cruz’s 95.9 mph average of the top five percent of his throws was three mph faster than ever other infielder in baseball last season.

Training with An All-Star

De La Cruz spent the offseason with New York Yankees outfielder Juan Soto. The Yankees’ All-Star and De La Cruz grew up together in the Dominican Republic. Both players did their development at the Niche Baseball Academy. With Soto, he learned how to build a routine around improvement with regular check-ins from manager David Bell and bench coach Freddie Benavides on how he was handling his day-to-day during the offseason.

“Elly had a lot that he dealt with, a lot that was thrown at him in Year 1,” Bell said. “How is he handling that? What does his offseason look like? What is he spending his time on? Is he recovering and getting stronger? Is he taking care of himself? Are his priorities in line? That was my role.”

Photo Credit: © Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK




More Posts

Send Us A Message