Elly De La Cruz is must watch TV, especially during times when there’s not nearly as much baseball on as we wish there would be. Last night he played in his 12th game for the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League and it was just another highlight filled game for the Cincinnati Reds top prospect.
After hitting at the bottom of the lineup for the first few days of the season – somewhat understandable as a 20-year-old making his debut in the league – his hot start quickly moved him up to the #2 spot in the Licey batting order. Last night saw him come to the plate in the bottom of the 1st inning and lined a triple to the warning track and off of the wall in center. The relay throw came into the shortstop who fired the ball to third base, but the throw got away and Elly De La Cruz took off for the plate and beat the throw to the plate by a few inches to put his team on the board.
— Tigres del Licey (@TigresdelLicey) November 1, 2022
The triple was his 7th extra-base hit of the season. Later on in the game he would add two singles and a walk, giving him a .405 batting average, a .490 on-base percentage, and a .667 slugging percentage. De La Cruz leads the league in average by 52 points. He is leading the league in on-base percentage by 22 points. His lead in slugging percentage is 88 points. The infielder has a 185 point lead in OPS over teammate Ronny Mauricio for the top spot in the league. Oh, his five stolen bases also rank second in the league.
Puerto Rican Winter League starts soon
Puerto Rico’s winter League is the last of the winter leagues to begin play on this side of the planet (Australia’s league starts up later this month) and they will get things started on Friday. It doesn’t appear that the rosters are all set yet, but there are some names from the organization on the rosters.
Pitcher Javi Rivera is listed with Caguas. So is Christian Encarnacion-Strand. In a bit of a confusing situation, Wendell Marrero is also listed with Caguas (he played with them in 2021), but yesterday Marrero was shown in practice video with Ponce. Not entirely sure what’s going on there, but either way he is expected to play for someone.
Brian Rey is listed on the Mayaguez roster. Yan Contreras and Yomil Maysonet are both listed with the Carolina roster. Edwin Arroyo is listed with the RA 12 roster, which is the only one that doesn’t seem remotely complete. Other teams all seemed to have 20+ players listed, while the RA12 roster showed less than 10 players. Deivid Alcantara was listed with Ponce.
If all of these guys actually do wind up playing this fall/winter in Puerto Rico it’s going to be a must follow given the number of players and intriguing guys that will be playing in the league.
Christian Roa shut down in the AFL
Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer spent a week out in Arizona watching the Arizona Fall League and reporting on the Cincinnati Reds prospects that were out there. In his most recent article he looks at Noelvi Marte, but also noted that Christian Roa was shut down after four starts due to fatigue.
It was a tough four starts for Roa. There really wasn’t a single area where you can look at say he had success. His ERA was 19.13, and no, that is not a typo. He threw 8.0 innings in his four starts and allowed 14 hits – including 2 home runs – walked 10 batters, and he hit another one. He also struck out just 9 of the 49 batters that he faced.
For Roa, the 2022 season was one in which he threw far more innings than he ever had in the past. At Texas A&M he topped out at 48.0 innings as a sophomore (he had thrown 20 in four starts as a junior before the season was cancelled). In his first season as a professional in 2021 he threw 58.2 innings across three levels. This season he missed the first month of the season, but then went on to throw 91.0 innings for High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga before heading out to Arizona.