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.
Elly De La Cruz got the 3-0 green light.
Elly De La Cruz went way, way deep.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 18, 2022
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.