It was a big day for three of the Cincinnati Reds top prospects. The Reds are playing split squad games on both days this weekend as they are taking part in a series in Las Vegas against the Oakland Athletics. Elly De La Cruz, the team’s top prospect, remained in Goodyear to play, while Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Spencer Steer are in Las Vegas. All three guys got the start on the day and both guys took full advantage to impress anyone who was watching.

Elly De La Cruz entered the day hitless in nine at-bats. He walked the first time he stepped up to the plate. In his next plate appearance he had to face Aroldis Chapman and De La Cruz lined a ball down the right field line (as a right-handed hitter) and tripled. After the Royals tied the game up in the top of the 5th inning it was the Elly De La Cruz show again as he unloaded on the ball for a go-ahead home run to finish the day 2-2 with a triple, home run, and a walk.

Out in Las Vegas there was very little time wasted for Christian Encarnacion-Strand. After back-to-back doubles from Spencer Steer and Jose Barrero, Encarnacion-Strand turned a 3-1 ballgame into a tie ballgame with a 448-foot home run that left the entire stadium.

That homer gave Cincinnati’s #7 prospect a .667 average as he was playing in his 6th game. It was also his second home run and his 8th run batted in. In the 4th inning he would loop a single up the middle and into center to raise his average to .700 on the spring. He’d finish 2-3 and see his average plummet to .636 by the end of the day.

Not to be outdone, Spencer Steer did his part in Las Vegas. In the second inning the Reds #5 prospect doubled with an exit velocity of 105 MPH. In the 4th inning he singled with an exit velocity of 105 MPH. And then in the 6th inning he homered on a change up, with his lowest exit velocity of the game at just 104 MPH. His 3-3 day raised his average up to .400 on the spring.

7 Responses

  1. Redsvol

    Yowza! I know the ball flies in Arizona and Vegas but my goodness. Going to be a fun year. I may go to more Louisville bats and Chattanooga lookouts games than reds games this yet.

  2. DaveCT

    Put ’em in coach, they’re ready to play, today …

    While not a minor leaguer, let’s not forget Barrero’s nice play at short.

    6 games, yes. Agreed. The talent is just electrifying, nonetheless.

    How eery (almost) is it to see EDLC accelerate going INTO 1st while wearing number 44?

    What’s the quote, the definition of beauty is Joe DiMaggio rounding 2nd base?

    May have revise that

    • Redsvol

      I agree Dave. These guys seem to have no fear. Granted, it’s spring and they’re playing against backups but most are major league pitchers and not AA pitchers.

      I’ve always been intrigued by Barrero. He just looks the part but I also realize looks can’t hit a major league slider.

      • DaveCT

        Regarding Barrero, with that ability, we have to find out one way or another.

  3. RedBB

    I get why CES wasn’t ranked higher but man the kid can flat out hit and hit for power. You don’t need 5 tools to be an absolute hammer at the plate.

  4. John Jansen

    I know CES seems to be bound to start at triple a, but this spring seems to show steer and CES, it’s early but I think we won the Mahle trade.

    CES could easily hit DH at the MLB level, But if he’s hitting this well he has to start on the opening day roster?

    • DaveCT

      If it means consistent at bats, vs. a platoon in Bell’s system, I’d rather he use AAA as more tuneup, though I’m sure Christian would much rather be in the majors.