Elly uncorks 99.7 mph laser to thwart Carroll's inside-the-park HR bid

August 28th, 2023

PHOENIX -- It was rookie vs. rookie, speed vs. arm during the fifth inning of the Reds' 5-2 loss to the D-backs on Sunday afternoon at Chase Field, when  prevented an inside-the-park home run by Corbin Carroll.

Facing Cincinnati starter with two outs and his team up, 1-0, Arizona's Carroll launched a two-out drive to deep center field. The ball was out of 's reach as it hit the wall. Friedl retrieved the ball quickly, while Carroll motored around the bases.

As Carroll was waved around to try and score, the cutoff throw went to Reds shortstop on the shallow outfield grass. De La Cruz fired a high throw to Tyler Stephenson at the plate, but the catcher was able to get the ball and apply the tag on Carroll, who was running at 30.4 feet/second, for the third out.

“Great play," manager David Bell said. "I think in most situations, [Carroll] makes it there, so you understand completely why they tried it. It took a perfect play on TJ’s part and then just an incredible throw by Elly, and the tag by Tyler, to be able to cut that down.”

According to Statcast, De La Cruz's throw was 99.7 mph, one-tenth shy of his record-fastest infield assist of 99.8 mph vs. the Giants on July 20.

“It was a great effort," Bell said. "A lot of other things have to happen. You have to get into good position to make a throw like that. Elly was anticipating that. He wasn’t surprised by it at all. 

“He got himself in good position to make a great throw like that.”

Since he debuted on June 6, De La Cruz already has eight infield assists tracked at 95 mph or more.

That's twice the total for any player since Statcast was introduced in 2015. Fernando Tatis Jr. has the second-most throws with four.