Elly De La Cruz has arrived.
Baseball fans have waited until the Reds made the decision to promote their superstar talent from the minors. The 21-year-old switch-hitting shortstop has torn apart Triple-A in his first stint at the level, posting eye-popping counting stats as well as electrifying tracking data, having posted the hardest exit velocities in the minors, one of the fastest sprint speeds and fastest throws of any players in the minors.
Among all MLB/AAA players.
Hardest hit ball.
1st. Elly De La Cruz (also has 6th, 9th, 12th, 19th).
Infield Arm on a throw
1. Elly De La Cruz (also 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 14th, 17th)
Fastest sprint speed on a run
10. Elly De La Cruz (also 11th, 15th, 18th). https://t.co/Ezm7IMSwuG
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 6, 2023
Don’t believe the hype? Well, consider that De La Cruz is batting cleanup in his big-league debut, a feat rarely accomplished for a player of his age.
youngest players to start at cleanup in MLB debut, last 100 seasons:
4/9/63 Rusty Staub: 19 y, 8 d
7/19/28 Harley Boss: 19 y, 243 d
9/11/33 Hal Trosky: 20 y, 304 d
4/13/76 Andrés Mora: 20 y, 234 d
Today Elly De La Cruz: 21 y, 146 d https://t.co/dgIDCrcBCR
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) June 6, 2023
Interested in following De La Cruz’s debut? The Sporting News will be tracking updates throughout his first game in the majors.
Elly De La Cruz stats
Elly De La Cruz live updates, highlights from MLB debut
(All times Eastern)
8:09 p.m.: And of course, De La Cruz put the burners on for his first MLB hit. He got to second base in 7.74 seconds, according to Codify.
It took Elly De La Cruz 7.74 seconds to get to 2nd base. 😮
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) June 7, 2023
8:07 p.m.: After a foul and a swing and a miss on a splitter, De La Cruz crushes a high fastball to right-center field and legs out a double, his first MLB hit. The exit velocity on that? 112 mph, the hardest hit ball of the day and the hardest hit ball for a Red in all of 2023.
8:07 p.m.: De La Cruz is back up to the plate.
7:41 p.m.: De La Cruz’s speed scoring from second? 30 mph, according to Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper. That is the third-fastest speed by a Red this season.
Elly De La Cruz hits the ball a mile but can run too. pic.twitter.com/yy96Xi9ePv
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) June 6, 2023
7:34 p.m.: Tyler Stephenson lines a single into center with De La Cruz on second, and the shortstop puts that blazing speed to the test, flying around the bases to score the tying run. He immediately reaches the majors as one of the fastest players in the sport.
7:30 p.m.: De La Cruz takes a big hack at a curveball and comes up empty on the first pitch he sees, but lays off a nearly identical pitch in the same location. After a foul ball, he watched three pitches go by to walk.
De La Cruz, who has had some strikeout issues in the past, talked about the adjustments he made at Triple-A to improve his plate discipline. And he made it sound easy.
“It’s all about just stopping swinging at bad pitches, waiting for my pitch and taking my walks when I can,” he said via Reds team translator Jorge Merlos, according to MLB.com.
7:29 p.m.: A huge ovation for the 21-year-old as he steps into the batter’s box for his first MLB at-bat.
Elly ovation pic.twitter.com/crCXO0GT21
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) June 6, 2023
7:29 p.m.: De La Cruz is coming up for his first big-league at-bat.
7:13 p.m.: They say the ball will find you, and that’s just what happened to De La Cruz. Mookie Betts hits a hard chopper down the third-base line. De La Cruz gets a glove on it to keep it from going down the left-field line, but he can’t make the play. Single for Betts.
7:12 p.m.: The MLB career of Elly De La Cruz is officially underway as Tuesday’s game has started.
The time is now. pic.twitter.com/3JHdYCZVCW
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 6, 2023
How to watch Elly De La Cruz’s MLB debut
- Date: Tuesday, June 6
- Start time: 7:10 p.m. ET | 4 p.m. PT
- TV channel: Bally Sports Ohio (Cincinnati) | SportsNet LA (Los Angeles)
- Live stream: Bally Sports app | SportsNet app | MLB.TV | Fubo
The Reds and Dodgers will face off on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Luke Weaver will be the Reds starting pitcher, while Tony Gonsolin will pitch for the Dodgers against De La Cruz and Cincinnati.
The game will not be carried on national cable, but will be available in the local Cincinnati and Los Angeles markets on Bally Sports Ohio and SportsNet LA. Local cable subscribers can also stream the game on either the respective streaming apps or on Fubo, which offers a free trial.
Out-of-market viewers can find a stream of the game on MLB.TV. Local fans will be blacked out from viewing the game on MLB’s streaming service.
Elly De La Cruz minor league stats
Here’s a look at De La Cruz’s stats in the minors: