Elly De La Cruz seems like a man in which myths are written. He can do some things on a baseball field that are just different than what other human beings can do. There’s still plenty for him to learn, there’s a lot of development left, but he will often show skills and ability on the field that can be laughable. On Friday night he hit two baseballs over 112 MPH. The second one was a double. The first one was an inside the park home run on a play that you have to see to both believe and to even understand how it happened.

It took about 10 minutes for the official scorer to make a ruling on the play, but they ultimately went with a home run instead of a triple and an error. That makes sense given that there was no error or misplay that happened, and instead it was just a runner using perfect timing and great speed to take advantage of the relay throw(s).

That goes down as the 23rd homer of the season for Elly De La Cruz. The shortstop is now hitting .297/.351/.591 on the season between his stops in High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga with 17 doubles, 7 triples, 23 home runs, and 33 stolen bases.

Sam Benschoter highlights

After missing nearly two months, Sam Benschoter returned to Daytona’s rotation on July 29th and struck out six batters in 3.2 innings. On Thursday night he made his second start back and he struck out nine batters in 4.0 innings and he had a whole bunch of swinging strikes while doing so. Some of those swings-and-misses were really bad ones, too.

He’s posted a 4.15 ERA in 12 games for the Tortugas this season that’s covered 43.1 innings. He’s allowed just three home runs, walked just 14 batters, and he’s struck out 64 of the 185 hitters he’s faced (that’s a 35% strikeout rate for those keeping track at home).

22 Responses

  1. Stock

    Two things impressed me on that play.

    1. His hustle out of the box.
    2. His alertness and readiness to take advantge of a casual cutoff throw.

    • AllTheHype

      The first thing I thought too, was hustle out of the box. It says a little about him. The majority of MLB would have had a double there, regardless of their speed, because they would have watched the first 3 seconds.

      • Redsvol

        I noticed that too ATH. Most content with a double there. I used to liive watching Pete rose turn a double into a triple. The man played baseball like it was football. Pure grit. Looks like Elly has some of that. Love the aggressiveness.

      • Greenfield Red

        He is exciting for sure. I can see him as top 5 end of season.

        Could have been a triple with a throwing error for the lollipop throw. Nevertheless, great awareness by EDLA. Either way it’s a run because he forced the issue.

      • Stock

        The lollipop throw was a mental error. Errors only account if they are physical errors. The throw was on target so not an error.

      • Andy

        The question of error had to be on throw home that went past catcher. Would he be tagged out with a throw not in dirt? Ultimately correct decision. Can’t assume a perfect throw. May have gotten under tag even if throw was caught cleanly.

  2. MBS

    That play reminded me of Dion Sanders. You don’t lob a ball in with a guy with elite speed. The reverse of you don’t run on a guy with a cannon. Speed wins, if it’s an arm or legs.

  3. LDS

    If he continues to develop and can stay healthy — next year, or the year after, the Reds could be fun again.

  4. MikeD

    Not that he plays like he needs any motivation, but I wondered if he has some additional motivation because of the new additions. Would be nothing wrong with that. He is totally enjoyable to watch/follow.

  5. Matt McWax

    Normally, you’d want to see a guy like him fill out but he already generates so much power, you probably want him keeping lean (like Davis) to keep that speed and agility. Thank goodness he won’t play on Riverfront turf.

  6. MK

    Only thing I could see that might be seen as an error on the play was the throw from cutoff man was to third but that was an error of judgement and not a physical error.

  7. Kindell

    I want to point something out about this play. I feel like way too many people on social media are talking about the throw and could it have been an error this morning and are focusing on the wrong thing? We should be talking all about the IQ of Elly in this play.

    He slowly rounds third, and all in the matter of a second, he locates the ball, determines where the ball is going and decides that he is going to score. There are very few players at any level who have the thought process to dissect this quickly and have the talent to make it work. If he gets thrown out, this becomes the most embarrassing play of the night. He has 6 tools when you consider his baseball IQ. If ownership wants to keep the idea of saving money only, they might want to roll the dice and try to Wander Franco this man real soon.

    • Stock

      Maybe other social media outlets were discussing the throw but this site was all over Elly’s role in turning a double into a triple and the triple into the HR.

      • Kindell

        This is a website not social media and I was referring to twitter where everyone was saying it should have been a triple with an error.

    • MikeD

      I 100 percent agree. Give him a 15 year deal and he’ll be the face of the franchise for years to come. He is a talent that we won’t to keep. Instead we will watching the clock tick until he’s traded.

      • Kindell

        Already an XBH tonight that should have been a triple but the ball went through a door. I know people love to talk to patience, but I hope he is up next year gaining experience so we can look at competing 2024

  8. Norwood Nate

    Amazing play, and head’s up, by Elly. Kid is special.

  9. SteveO

    Man, the Lookouts can score in bunches! Time to move up Marte and Rey to join this hitting machine lineup. Rivas down to Dayton. Whoever you start and whoever comes off the bench will be solid. No holes for position players if you add Marte and Rey. Marte especially needs to be around these players in Chattanooga. Too many SSs? Not a chance. Moreno will find a way to play all these guys. Let the top prospects gel together the last month and a half of the season. They’ll definitely benefit from playing with each other.

  10. Mark Moore

    It was a treat to watch … twice. Such an alert play essentially “stealing” the HR on the lob from the outfielder.

    Shades of Eric the Red indeed.

  11. Michael E

    Benschoter, holy moly, someone with an actual curve ball? Looks more like a slurve, but still, what is with the Reds and no curve ball pitchers. I know change-up and sliders and splitters and cutters and two-seamers are flavors of the day for the Reds, but most of the best pitchers of the past 50 years had nasty or deceptive curves or slower breaking pitches.

    I see SO few curves from Reds pitchers that when Sonny Gray came around, I almost didn’t believe what I was seeing.

    Please Reds, get some of these pitchers practicing curve balls again. I get the worry about injury, but really any non-normal gripped fastball is worrisome. Bert Blyleven pitched forever throwing almost exclusively curveballs, so we know if done right it can be as harmless as long tossing.