The streak that Elly De La Cruz is on is starting to feel like a tall tale you might hear from your grandparents, hard to believe and most likely embellished.
But the only thing tall about this tale is EDLC's height: 6-foot-5.
The 21-year-old shortstop stepped up to the dish in the bottom of the ninth at Louisville Slugger Field with a man on first and Kaleb Ort on the mound. The right-hander hadn't allowed any runs in seven appearances for the Triple-A Red Sox affiliate this season, but that changed in a hurry. After working the count to 3-2, De La Cruz barreled a fastball over the wall in right-center-field wall to send the Bats' fans home happy.
The homer traveled 432 feet and left De La Cruz’s bat at 109.2 mph, and you know what’s crazy? That’s not a particularly high exit velocity for the top-ranked Reds prospect. The Dominican Republic native has recorded 118.8 mph off the bat this season – the hardest-hit ball recorded at Triple-A – and has four other hits ranking in the top 10.
Besides hitting the mammoth home run, De La Cruz showed some other encouraging signs Tuesday. He went 1-for-3 but walked twice and only struck out once. He saw an average of just over five pitches per at-bat, evidence that his focus on good swing decisions has started to pay off.
De La Cruz has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 25/20 in the May, outpacing his 18/2 ratio in nine games in April.
The standout performance extended De La Cruz's hit streak to 10 games and he's sporting a .304/.401/.659 slash line this season, giving fans more reasons to believe his Major League debut is on the horizon.