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Elly-Mania: The Hype Is Real!

Baseball’s top prospect and Elly De La Cruz (EDLC) has lit the baseball world on fire since making his much-anticipated debut for the MLB’s Cincinnati Reds. (PICTURE: Elly De La Cruz. PHOTO: COURTESY OF: Elly De La Cruz’s Facebook page. Dated June 23, 2023)

Donald Cherry



Elly-Mania: The Hype Is Real! Elly De La Cruz (EDLC), baseball’s top prospect, has set the baseball world on fire since making his much-anticipated debut for the MLB’s Cincinnati Reds. With his insane raw talent, the Reds rookie has completely shattered Statcast norms.

In URBT New’s first four-part op-ed series, I will utilize my personal experience drawn from eleven years of recreational baseball and as a lifelong baseball fan to illustrate how evidence suggests that De La Cruz is a “once in a hundred years type of player.”

Spectacular? Without a doubt. The best? That is more difficult to assess, but it is worth comparing him to others who have quickly captivated the baseball world.


In this, the first article in the series, I will provide evidence to put EDLC’s electrifying plate skills into perspective.


Elly Lets His Bat Do The Talking

What distinguishes Elly De La Cruz? Elly De La Cruz has done more for the Cincinnati Reds than energize them. It’s a full-fledged fireworks show that opponents have yet to put a stop to.

De La Cruz has turned the baseball world on its head with his incredible blend of power, speed, and athleticism. On the Reds broadcast, he was described as a “once in a hundred years type of player,” but he may be the only player of his kind in history.


De La Cruz Hits For Cycle

De La Cruz continues to astound baseball fans by recording his first career cycle in his 15th career game. He was the first Red to accomplish this feat since Eric Davis in 1980. EDLC is wearing the same number 44 as Davis did over 30 years ago. Moreover, with his accomplishment, the Dominican outfielder became the youngest player in 51 years to accomplish this feat since Cesar Cedeno in 1972.

VIDEO: Elly De La Cruz hits for cycle. VIDEO: COURTESY OF: Cincinnati Reds via youtube. Dated June 23, 2023.

De La Cruz doubled to start the second inning, followed by a two-run home run at 96 mph in the third. In the fifth inning, he returned to score on a broken-bat single and steal a base. An inning later, he roped a ball into the right-center gap, and he was on third base with the cycle less than 11 seconds later.

The Reds rookie has completely shattered Statcast norms with his insane raw talent. During his cycle, he recorded an exit velocity of 116.6 MPH on his double and a home-to-third time of 10.83 seconds on his triple.

Stats and Rankings

VIDEO: Elly De La Cruz’s first career blast nearly leave the ballpark! video: courtesy of: MLB via youtube.

EDLC’s level of juice from both sides of the plate is unrivaled, and his violent swings are capable of thunderous impact that is nearly unrivaled.


De La Cruz has accumulated 138 total bases in 83 games played and 336 at-bats. His 79 hits have resulted in 14 doubles, six triples, and 11 home runs. De La Cruz has scored 36 runs and reached base on balls 28 times. This season, his six triples rank sixth among National League players. De La Cruz has also struck out 104 times, giving him a batting average of .235, an on-base percentage of .297, a slugging percentage of .411, and an on-base slugging percentage of .708.

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Making History As A Rookie

On August 22, 2023, Reds rookie sensation Elly De La Cruz broke a record by one of baseball’s most legendary players. After stealing second base in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels, the Reds rookie reached 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases quicker than anybody in MLB history.

De La Cruz achieved the feat in 64 games. Barry Bonds previously held the record, which he accomplished in 65 games.

Remarkable Comparisons

You’re in good company when your name is mentioned alongside Bonds in baseball history.


“There is no comp,” teammate Jonathan India said. “Elly De La Cruz will be the best baseball player in MLB in the future. He could even be right now.”

“This is extreme, but has there been a better switch-hitting, speed-power guy?” Longtime Reds star 1st Baseman Joey Votto said. “The only comp I can think of is Mickey Mantle. A young Mickey Mantle.” Votto has compared EDLC’s power to Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees and Shohei Ohtani of the California Angels. By comparison, Shohei Ohtani’s versatility has garnered comparisons to the great Babe Ruth.

VIDEO: Joey Votto Says Elly De La Cruz Has Power Comparable To Judge, Stanton And Ohtani. video: courtesy of: Dan Patrick Show on youtube.

What Lies Ahead?

De La Cruz’s arrival energized and electrified the Cincinnati Reds and the fans at Great American Ball Park.

De La Cruz gives the Reds with a good chance of having their first 30/30 player since Brandon Phillips in 2007. Barry Larkin and Eric Davis are the other two Reds in that particular club.


There are still areas where he can improve offensively, but keep in mind that he’s still a 21-year-old player – the age of a college junior – who accelerated through the minors with little time to consolidate his gains.

Overall, De La Cruz’s rookie performance to date demands respect!

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