The Chattanooga Lookouts are playing a doubleheader this evening against the Rocket City Trash Pandas. Game one just came to an end and it featured an absolute moonshot from Cincinnati Reds top prospect Elly De La Cruz.

After singling in his first at-bat of the game, he came up to the plate in the 3rd inning with a runner on first base in a tie game. Ahead 3-0 in the at-bat he got the green light from the coaching staff and where I come from green means go and he made the baseball go.

491 estimated feet later (Trackman) the ball landed over the batters eye in centerfield. It’s the longest Trackman estimated distance of the year for the Elly De La Cruz, as well as the Reds farm system. Earlier this year you’ll probably remember that he hit a 512-foot home run in Chattanooga. The Lookouts official account tweeted out that distance, but after checking in with the Reds I was told that it was actually 430 feet. The video replay seems to confirm that is far more accurate, as the ball didn’t clear the trees at all, and to go 512 feet or anything close to it, it would have.

In 22 games (this includes game one of the Thursday night doubleheader but not game two), Elly De La Cruz has 11 doubles, a triple, and 6 home runs in 22 games for the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts. 18 extra-base hits in 22 games is insane. He’s hitting .313/.353/.635 since being promoted from High-A Dayton where he hit .302/.359/.609. On the year the shortstop has 25 doubles, 7 triples, 26 home runs, and he’s also stolen 36 bases.

As I wrote last week in the Reds MiLB Notebook, De La Cruz is just one of three Cincinnati Reds minor league players to have a 25/25 season since 1960 (which is as far as my stats database goes for the farm as records are incomplete prior to that year). He’s now just four home runs shy of being the first to go 30/30.

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16 Responses

  1. Hoyce

    I mean he’s destroying AA. So is he really far from the show? I know reds don’t wanna rush him, but dang can’t hold the kid down either. Extend him now. 10 years $80 million and let’s watch him explode

    • Bubba Woo

      Agree 100%. It is going to be incredibly hard for the Reds to keep him off the 2023 roster for long. My guess is that the Reds will give Barrero a shot at being the regular SS to start the season, but unless he improves dramatically, De LA Cruz will be the starter around Memorial Day.

      • JaxDan

        Is there anyplace to see if a minor leaguer has done 30 doubles, 10 triples, 30 home runs and 40 stolen bases? These are numbers that I see EDLC reaching

    • Optimist

      Hold your horses just a second. As others have commented he apparently is not ready defensively at SS, and has some holes in his swing which MLB pitchers could exploit.

      Having said all that, though, perhaps $10m now to buy the 1st year of FA would do the trick. At least recognize what he’s done as comparable to expectations for a high draft pick, make a workaround of sorts to the service time game, and show the rest of the organization a new attitude.

      • Doug Gray

        I own no horses, therefore full steam ahead (I also don’t own a steam engine, but we won’t discuss that any further).

      • Redsvol

        He is not ready defensively at shortstop for the majors. I hope they’ll put him in instructional league and teach him center field.

    • MK

      Don’t think I would do that were I Elly. Wander Franco got $180 million for 11 years. $80 million certainly not chump change but the young guys money is on the rise.

  2. musicclown

    Last night Ella played 3B and McClain at SS. Put Ella anyplace as a September callup.

  3. JaxDan

    Looking at EDLC coming up to the Reds within the next year or so made me think of what the lineup could be in 2024

    India, 2b
    McClain, lf
    EDLC, cf
    Stephenson, c
    Strand, dh
    Steer, 3b
    Marte, rf
    Farmer, 1b
    Berrero, ss

    How does this lineup look talent wise, position wise and will they be competitive? Are there better options that I am missing?

    • trf

      I’m pretty sure Buck Farmer can’t play 1B..

      Because there is no way you meant Kyle right?

      • JaxDan

        Another option is Strand at 1b and then who at DH currently in the Reds system?

  4. Schottzie

    Is there a prospect in baseball you’d swap for EDLC?

  5. Moon

    I was at the game against the Trash Pandas where De La Cruz hit that home run. He just destroyed the ball. But he also went 4-8 that day (double header) and was intimidating all day. He went opposite field for a single his first at bat, the HR was his second ab (as I remember), so he is just not trying to pull the ball every time he is up. He had everyone in the stadiums attention when he was at the plate.. He has a sweet natural swing that looks easy until the bat hits the ball. He is going to be a good one for the Reds..