De La Cruz collects season-high four hits

September 17th, 2022

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De La Cruz racks up four hits in wild Double-A game (Sept. 16)
In a wild back-and-forth contest between Double-A Chattanooga and Tennessee, top Reds prospect Elly De La Cruz played a crucial role in the Lookouts’ 13-12 walk-off win, racking up four hits, two runs scored, a steal and two game-tying RBIs.

The night didn’t start out well for baseball’s No. 15 overall prospect. De La Cruz struck out in his first three plate appearances, but he turned on the jets once the seventh inning came around. His first base knock of the day was an RBI double that tied the game at four, and he followed it up with a steal of third, eventually coming around to score on a fielder’s choice. 

He singled the following frame before bouncing a ball up the first-base line in the 10th, racing all the way around the bases for an RBI triple to tie things up again. The infielder was now a home run shy of the cycle after not even recording a hit through the first six frames. He stepped up with a chance to complete the feat in the 12th, but he instead settled for a leadoff single, eventually coming around to score on a two-run double. He walked in the 13th before Chattanooga walked things off.

It was the 20-year-old's first four-hit effort of his career. It was also a performance that showed exactly why people are talking about him. In 46 games at Double-A, the switch-hitter is batting .308 with a .923 OPS, eight homers, 17 doubles, 19 steals and 33 RBIs. -- Stephanie Sheehan

Abbott fans nine, extends scoreless streak (Sept. 11)
A new month seems to have invigorated Andrew Abbott.

The No. 10 Reds prospect struck out nine and tossed five scoreless frames for a second consecutive start to lead Double-A Chattanooga past Birmingham, 6-5, at Regions Field.

Before tossing five scoreless innings on Sept. 6, Abbott had not kept the opposition from scoring in an outing since June 12.

The 23-year-old southpaw was in firm control, allowing just a pair of singles and two walks during his 74-pitch outing. Abbott struck out four of the first six batters and allowed only two Barons into scoring position. 

Although the 2021 Draft pick sports a 5.07 ERA in 24 appearances (23 starts) with High-A Dayton and Chattanooga, he is holding opposing batters to a .236 average and has struck out 151 in 112 innings. -- Michael Avallone

Encarnacion-Strand has 30 home runs (Aug. 30)
During Double-A Chattanooga’s 9-8 loss to Pensacola on Tuesday, Christian Encarnacion-Strand went 4-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs. Since joining Chattanooga, Encarnacion-Strand has five homers in 20 games, and he has 30 overall in 107 games across two levels and three teams this season.

Ranked as Cincinnati’s No. 14 prospect, he was acquired at the Trade Deadline in the deal that sent pitcher Tyler Mahle to the Twins -- Mark Sheldon

Allen II motors around for a pair of triples with High-A Dayton (Aug. 30)
Jay Allen II had his 55-grade speed on display, and then some, as the 19-year-old notched a pair of triples and drove in three runs in High-A Dayton's 7-6 victory over Cedar Rapids at Day Air Ballpark.

The 12th-ranked Reds prospect sent a fly ball deep to center and motored around the basepaths for his first RBI three-bagger with the Dragons. In the following inning, it was nearly an identical scenario as the 2021 first-round Draft selection plated two runs with another triple to the gap in center again. He also scored both times he was on base.

They were the first two triples since joining Dayton on Aug. 16 for Allen, who now has four three-baggers on the year. After opening the season with Single-A Daytona, the Florida native is 12-for-45 with three extra-base hits and is 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts through his first 10 games with the Dragons. -- Rob Terranova

Collier clobbers first professional homer (Aug. 13)
Cam Collier was perfect at the plate in ACL Reds' 7-5 loss to ACL Guardians. 

The 18th overall pick in the 2022 Draft started the night with a bang, launching his first professional homer to center field in the first inning. In the third inning, he drove in his second run of the game on a single to left and notched another single in the fifth. The 17-year-old finished his night with one final single to center in the seventh inning. 

After going hitless in his two appearances, the third baseman is slowly but surely ticking off boxes in his professional career. Although in a small sample size, his career-high four hits were a display of the potential of Cincinnati's first-round Draft pick. -- Ethan Sands

Steer smashes first homer with Louisville Bats (Aug. 11)
In Cincinnati’s trade that dealt Tyler Mahle to the Twins, the Reds picked up multiple eye-catching prospects, with Spencer Steer at the top of that list.

The Reds’ No. 6 prospect is proving his worth with Triple-A Louisville.

In Louisville's 4-3 win over Iowa, the third-round (90th overall) selection in the 2019 Draft smashed his first homer since being traded. His day began with an RBI double to left field in the first inning and was highlighted by a go-ahead two-run blast in the ninth inning that ended up being the decisive blow in the victory. The jack marked the 24-year-old's 21st homer of the season and first with the Bats. 

Although it's a small sample size, the third baseman has only been held hitless in two of his seven games with his new club, slashing .286/.394/.429 with seven RBIs since the trade. -- Ethan Sands

De La Cruz continues red-hot August with fourth multihit game of month (Aug. 6)
Elly De La Cruz
has been a pitcher’s nightmare this month.

The Reds No. 3 prospect has had three multihit games in the previous four games in the month of August. De La Cruz made it four, going 3-for-5 with one homer in Double-A Chattanooga’s 14-9 win over Birmingham.

The 20-year-old was a triple shy of the cycle in his productive night with a single in the 10th inning, double in the first inning and crushed a two-run shot in the sixth inning. De La Cruz showed his wheels, also, as he stole third base in the first inning.

The shortstop’s productive night has improved his slash line to .301/.356/.603 on the season. -- Edwin Perez

De La Cruise: Elly sprints for unique inside-the-parker (Aug. 5)
Elly De La Cruz
has made a habit of showing up on highlight reels with his tape-measure home runs, but his latest dinger allowed him to showcase a pair of other tools -- speed and creativity.

Playing in his 13th game with Double-A Chattanooga since his July promotion, the No. 3 Reds prospect (MLB's No. 47 overall) came to the plate with one out in the fifth inning and belted a Scott Blewett fastball to straightaway center field, at first appearing like another one of De La Cruz's trademark blasts. Though it merely one-hopped the wall, his wheels took over and powered him to third base.

As if the triple wasn't exciting enough, things took a turn when De La Cruz, noticing a lackadaisical relay throw from the cutoff man, bolted for the plate. Birmingham third baseman D.J. Burt did his best to nab De La Cruz, but the long strides of the 6-foot-5 shortstop were enough to beat the ball home. Full story »

Marte clubs a pair of jacks in second game with Dragons (Aug. 3)
In only his second game since being acquired by the Reds in the blockbuster deal that sent ace Luis Castillo to Seattle, Noelvi Marte looked exactly as advertised -- mashing a pair of long balls and driving in four runs -- for High-A Dayton to power a 14-5 victory over Peoria at Day Air Ballpark.

"He's just a really strong, athletic kid with a lot of confidence," Dragons skipper Bryan LaHair said. "He's been showing some early signs of leadership qualities in the dugout already, he's very vocal, he gets guys fired up. He makes all the routine plays in the field. He's just a great looking athlete and I look forward to getting this opportunity to work with him."

The top Reds prospect formerly held the same ranking with Seattle. In 86 games with High-A Everett to open the year, Marte posted a .275/.363/.462 slash line with 15 dingers, 13 doubles, 42 walks, 13 stolen bases, 62 runs scored and 55 RBIs. He also sported a .918 fielding percentage at short over 291 total chances in the field. Full story »

De La Cruz and McLain deliver for Double-A Chattanooga (July 30)
Elly De La Cruz can not be stopped in the batter's box.

The third-ranked Reds prospect mashed his 22nd home run of the season in Double-A Chattanooga's 9-8 victory over Rocket City.

After knocking a single into left in the first inning, the 20-year-old smacked his second home run since joining the Lookouts into right field in the fifth. Since being promoted to Double-A, MLB's No. 47 prospect has posted a .250/.270/.500 slash line, tallied nine hits and plated four runs in 8 games.

However, it was Matt McClain who secured the victory for the Lookouts. The No. 4 Reds prospect walked it off with a three-run double.

The 22-year-old notched two doubles on the day. The first came on a line drive to left field in the second. In the ninth inning, McLain approached the plate with the bases loaded, then drilled his second double to center to clear the bases.

The No. 57 overall prospect raised his season double total to 11 and brought his line to .235/.360/.462.-- Alyssa Gomez

Top prospect's mammoth homer just disappears (July 28)
Elly De La Cruz
has been turning heads all season, but this moment might just take the cake.

Playing in his sixth game with Double-A Chattanooga, the Reds' No. 2 prospect blasted a home run that traveled a projected 512 feet in his first at-bat of the night. It was the 20-year-old shortstop's first homer with the Lookouts and 21st overall on the season as he continues his rapid ascent through the Minors.

For context, only two homers in MLB have traveled at least 500 feet since Statcast began tracking in 2015: a 505-foot shot by Nomar Mazara in 2019 and a 504-foot blast by Giancarlo Stanton in 2016.

As if the mammoth homer wasn’t enough, De La Cruz added a triple, also his first with Chattanooga, and nabbed home on a double steal. It’s pretty safe to say he had a good day at the plate. -- Nick Aguilera

Vellojin notches first two homers at Double-A (July 27)
If Daniel Vellojin made contact, it was going out. 

Cincinnati's No. 22 prospect showed off his power in Double-A Chattanooga's 9-7 loss to Rocket City. In his first at-bat, the 22-year-old crushed a solo shot to right-center field in the third inning and promptly followed with another solo blast to right in the fourth for his first two homers with the Lookouts. 

The catcher was promoted to Double-A on July 26. After going 0-for-2 with two walks in his first appearance, the Colombia native was 2-for-4 in the latest outing while knocking off multiple milestones from his to-do list.

Vellojin is hitting .210 for the season with eight homers and 16 RBIs. -- Ethan Sands