Matt McLain picked up his first home run of the Arizona Fall League on Tuesday. The Cincinnati Reds infielder started the game at shortstop for the Glendale Desert Dogs. In the 5th inning McLain came to the plate with one out and crushed a long home run to left field to put the Desert Dogs up 1-0.

The home run would be the only hit on the day for McLain, but he did follow it up with a walk in the bottom of the 7th inning. That represented his 13th walk of the Arizona Fall League in 75 plate appearances. He has walked plenty, but he’s also struck out plenty, too, picking up 20 strikeouts along the way. Despite hitting just .172 his on-base percentage comes in at .360 thanks to the plethora of walks to go along with another four hit by pitches.

Rece Hinds also got the start in the game for Glendale as their designated hitter. He picked up a double and a walk in the game. It was the 8th extra-base hit in 18 games for Hinds and it was his 5th walk. He’s hitting .243/.293/.429 for the Desert Dogs. He’s struggled to make contact this fall, fanning 30 times in 75 plate appearances. Unlike McLain, he hasn’t walked a ton, drawing just five free passes so far. He has showed good power along the way when he has made contact with eight of his 17 hits being for extra-bases.

Hinds had told Jesse Borek of MLB.com earlier this fall that he was hoping to participate in the Arizona Fall League’s Home Run Derby. The field of eight was announced on Tuesday evening and Hinds wasn’t selected for this weekend’s derby. The fans in attendance will be missing out – Hinds can put on a show in batting practice.

More from Elly De La Cruz

Tuesday night saw Licey combine for a no-hitter against the Toros del Este in a game that was started by former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla. Elly De La Cruz once against started at second base for the Tigres and he was hitting second. The 20-year-old went 1-3 with a walk. That lowered his league leading batting average to .400 on the season. His walk was the 9th in 13 games and helped boost his on-base percentage up to a league best .491. His slugging percentage did drop down to .644, with his OPS being 1.135 on the season.

9 Responses

  1. LDS

    I’d like to see an RLN article, about midseason, about a player going 1-3 and lowering his league leading average. That would be fun. Hope he continues to progress. When I see a Reds player performing like this in the minors, it always reminds me of Gary Redus and his rookie league season. Not a fair comp, and Redus had a decent career, just not what we are all looking for out of EDLC.

  2. Stock

    Slight correction. ELDC OPS is 1.135 His Slugging % is 0.644.

    Having an OPS of 1.135 is impressive but what has impressed me the most this week is that his BB% is 16.4% and his K% is 23.6%.

    Originally I was in the camp of leaving ELDC in the minors until September. He needs to work on his K% and BB% and leaving him in the minors all year potentially provides the Reds with additional draft pick if he performs well in 2024 – 2026. Based upon his progress this winter it does not seem likely the Reds will be able to justify leaving him in the Minors for 5 months.

    What I would like now is for the Reds to sign EDLC to a 7 or 8 year contract with 2-4 team options. Then the Reds can start him in the majors in April. Between his hard work and fantastic baseball instincts, I think he is ready for the show. It would be an interesting battle between EDLC and Corbin Carroll for rookie of the year.

    • Optimist

      Good idea, but I wonder if the Reds might be looking to just buy a year or two of FA if the price doesn’t seriously exceed early 1st round pick levels. Would fit their budget control ideas by limiting exposure of time and $$$. The prime benefit would be to eliminate “service time” issues and make MLB debut solely performance based.

      He’s still so young that if he is a superstar he’d hit FA at premium bonanza time.

    • Kerrick

      I doubt the Reds will be running to extend a player that struck out 31% this year in A and AA, never having even made AAA.

      • Optimist

        Reds paid Greene $7m+ to sign. Is EDLC worth that now? Would he accept that now? I think that’s the starting point. Not many 20 yr. olds in AAA.

      • Stock

        My guess is his K% will be under 25% in the minors this year (if he spends any time in the minors). EDLC improves more year after year than any player I can ever recall. That has to be a combination of baseball intelligence and hard work. Players with his skill set tend to be very good.

      • Kerrick

        What I’m saying is, no don’t think they will guarantee him millions of dollars yet. Maybe after next season. His Ks still scare me.

  3. Greenfield Red

    One thing to consider regarding De La Cruz and a hefty contract now, is the he signed for just 65K. That’s not much. He may want/need money for his family. If so, he may be inclined to sign 8 years for 60 mil. Would the Reds do that? I don’t know.