There have been a lot of things said about Elly De La Cruz over the last two years as he’s gone from unknown prospect to arguably the best prospect in all of baseball. Almost all of it has been good, but the one thing that has had some skepticism with is is that De La Cruz has not walked all that much in his career.

That has been true. He’s always been pretty young for the level he’s played at, and that does work in his favor, but he’s never really walked at a high clip. In 2022 he walked more than he had in 2021, coming in with a 7.8% walk rate between his time in High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga.

The start of the 2023 season didn’t go well for Elly De La Cruz. After missing the first three weeks of the season as he recovered from a hamstring injury suffered in spring training, the infielder joined Triple-A Louisville and went 1-21 with no walks and 11 strikeouts to start the season.

Since that 22nd plate appearance of the season, Elly De La Cruz has crushed the baseball. He’s hit .344/.442/.750 in 77 plate appearances since that point in time. Not only has the hitting itself improved, but what he’s done in May is something we’ve never seen him really do before. We’re not quite to the middle of the month yet, but De La Cruz has already walked 10 times. It’s only the third month in his career that he’s drawn double digit walks – the other two times came last season. But more impressive than just him walking a ton during the month, he’s walked more often than he’s struck out. He’s gone three straight games without a strikeout and only has eight strikeouts during May.

Elly De La Cruz is 21-years-old. He’s among the youngest players in Triple-A. He hasn’t yet faced a pitcher that is younger than he is this season. Last year he only did so once. It’s possible that this is simply a hot streak where he’s absolutely locked in – he had a run last June where he had eight walks and eight strikeouts in a nine game stretch while with Dayton. But if what we’re seeing is remotely close to him taking a true step forward in understanding better pitch selection, things could get even more interesting when it comes to De La Cruz than even the most optimistic of people may have thought. Stay tuned.

About The Author

Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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15 Responses

  1. Tom

    T.N.T. oi, oi, oi
    T.N.T. oi, oi, oi
    T.N.T. oi, oi, oi
    T.N.T. oi, oi, oi

  2. Watch me explode

    …T.N.T. oi, oi, oi
    T.N.T. oi, oi, oi
    T.N.T. oi, oi, oi
    T.N.T. oi, oi, oi…

  3. Andrew

    If EDLC hits,.which I think he will, a 12ish% BB rate and 25ish% K rate, there will be zero holes in his game and by the end of 2024, he might be passing Julio Rodriguez as the most exciting player in baseball

  4. MK

    I’m hopeful that this shows the maturity of being coachable. As far as I know coachability hasn’t been an issue in the past but hopefully this is more proof. Very good players have special talent, great players have a brain to go with it.

  5. Branch Brown

    I’m scared of getting too excited for Elly, and articles like this are not helpful.

  6. Melvin

    He’s a great talent. I’m having fun watching the “Big Three” and others down in Louisvlle. EDLC has a little improvement to do in base stealing as he’s been thrown out 5-9 times. I’m not the least bit concerned about it though. He’ll get it.

    • Melvin

      He just had an infield hit on a decently hard hit ball to the third basemen’s backhand. Lots of speed in that guy.

  7. Jim Walker

    EDLC’s run of more walks roughly corresponds with when Will Benson who is also a tall guy (6’5″) and known for his skill at drawing walks (at least at AAA) began batting immediately ahead of EDLC. Wouldn’t it be an ironic turn if Benson’s greatest contribution to the Reds turned out to be a role model for EDLC at reading pitches to avoid Ks and draw BBs?

    • MK

      Interesting take Jim. I still hold out hope for Benson to be a big league contributor.

    • MBS

      Interesting is the right word MK. It’s easy to tell someone how to be more selective, but maybe you’re right Jim, and EDLC is emulating Benson to a degree. What ever the reason, EDLC definitely looks sharp in AAA.

  8. Hoyce

    Doug I know we’ve seen chuckie Robinson. But how would u rate his defensive and receiving skills?
    Also shortstop defensive play at MLB level has been bad. Call up McClain already. Geez

  9. Hoyce

    Also since Abbott spot coincides w last time Lodolo was scratched. What percentage would u put on Abbott being called up to fill that spot?

    • 2020ball

      Very low. Bullpen games will likely become very familar in the coming weeks. No reason to rush Abbott, I’d rather be patient with him.