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Elly De La Cruz’ Hot Start to MLB Career

By: Mallory Morrow

Edited BY: Kylie Augis

The Dominican Republic has produced another up and coming baseball phenom. Elly De La Cruz, shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds, has had a hot start to his career in Major League Baseball. De La Cruz made his Major League debut June 6 and immediately made his name known, hitting a powerful double for his first hit in the MLB. The very next night De La Cruz hit a towering first career home run. The journey for De La Cruz to get to this level has not been an easy one, but it is all just starting to pay off.

Growing up in the Dominican Republic, a country known for producing baseball powerhouses, De La Cruz struggled to find his place. At a very young age, De La Cruz moved away from home, to another city in the Dominican Republic, in hopes of bettering his chances to have a future in baseball. No one really paid too much attention to what De La Cruz had to offer, making him want to give up the sport, but the Cincinnati Reds gave him a chance July 2, 2018 signing him to a $65,000 minor league contract.

After signing the contract, De La Cruz spent his time with the various teams in the Reds’ organization with the exception of 2020. Minor League Baseball was put on hold in 2020 because of COVID-19. The Reds quickly recognized the great player they had in De La Cruz as the 6-foot-5 shortstop powered his way into being one of the organization’s top prospects.

Everything De La Cruz had worked for paid off when Cincinnati called him up to the big leagues, and he made his Major League debut June 6. Fans were thrilled to watch De La Cruz make his first start, and gave him a standing ovation as he made his way to the plate for the first time. In his first at-bat, De La Cruz was already showing off his good eye and patience by walking. The second time De La Cruz came up to bat he showed his power, getting his first hit in the MLB which was a rocket for a double at 112 mph. The third at-bat for De La Cruz resulted in another walk, and his last two times up to the plate that night resulted in outs. All in all, it was a successful first game that left Reds fans excited for the future of De La Cruz.

The emotions that could come with beginning this journey have not gotten to nor stopped De La Cruz. In his second MLB game June 7, De La Cruz hit a towering first career home run and a forceful triple. Through seven games in the MLB, De La Cruz has eight hits and four stolen bases. With the Reds rebuilding their organization, De La Cruz has quickly become a dazzling addition to their lineup.

Watching De La Cruz begin his baseball career has been nothing short of exciting. De La Cruz will hopefully continue to offer strength, speed and poise for many seasons to come.

Courtesy of Dylan Buell/Getty Images

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