Cincinnati Reds prospect Elly De La Cruz has perhaps the highest ceiling among players currently in minor league baseball.
Tuesday night’s game for the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate might be the perfect proof of that statement.
Elly De La Cruz is scorching the ball down in the minors.
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— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) May 10, 2023
A physical specimen similar to Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz, De La Cruz can smoke the ball when he hits it.
On Tuesday, he homered twice and hit a double.
The double was the hardest-hit ball and checked in at 118.8 mph.
The two home runs left his bat at 117.1 and 116.6 mph, respectively.
Those are some big boy exit velocities right there.
When it comes to raw power, few men alive can match De La Cruz’s.
The only two names in the same tier are Cruz and Giancarlo Stanton.
However, there is much more to predicting future success than max exit velocity.
De La Cruz is having a good season in Triple-A, with a .284/.321/.608 slash line in 16 games and 78 plate appearances.
The problem with him is that he has lots of issues making consistent contact.
His strikeout rate is at 32.1 percent, meaning that almost a third of his trips to the plate end up with him striking out.
It’s something he will need to correct to reach Cincinnati and actually stay there.
There is no denying, however, that the raw tools are there, much like it happens with Cruz.
De La Cruz has what it takes to be the face of the Reds’ rebuild in the next few years, provided he can cut his strikeouts somewhat to more palatable levels.NEXT: The Reds Finally Broke A Shocking Comeback Drought