Elly's latest trick? A 99.2 mph throw

Reds' top prospect rips off hardest infield throw at Triple-A or Majors in 2023

May 7th, 2023

When the radar guns were brought out to Werner Park on Saturday, they lit up as an impressive 99.2 mph toss crossed not home plate but first base. Top-ranked Reds prospect Elly De La Cruz delivered a perfect throw for an out in Triple-A Louisville's 6-2 loss to Omaha, adding to his already extensive baseball bag of tricks.

While the No. 8 prospect in all of baseball is an infielder by trade, he has an arm that some pitchers would envy. Despite his arm strength, the 99.2 mph throw was out of the ordinary, setting a season high for any throw in the infield at either the Triple-A or Major League levels.

With Royals prospect Brewer Hicklen moving quickly on a grounder in the fourth inning, De La Cruz had to make a perfect throw for a chance to get him out. The strike he delivered to fellow Reds prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand across the diamond added to his defensive resume.

De La Cruz's top attribute per MLB Pipeline is his 70-grade speed, which manifested in 19 stolen bases in 47 Double-A games last year. His considerable arm strength, however, is not to be questioned. He possesses the type of arm that projects well at either third base or shortstop.

After beginning the season on the IL due to a left hamstring injury he sustained in Spring Training, De La Cruz is back up and running quite literally. As he continues to acclimate to Triple-A ball, he'll likely continue to keep radar guns and stopwatches on high alert.

The No. 3 shortstop prospect in all of baseball has begun 2023 doing things nobody at either the Triple-A or Major League-level is doing this year.