Reds' Elly De La Cruz Hits Historic 100-Year First

Reds' Rising Star Shines Early in the Season

by Zain ul Abedin
Reds' Elly De La Cruz Hits Historic 100-Year First
© Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Cincinnati Reds all-action shortstop Elly De La Cruz has been taking Major League Baseball by storm with his start to the 2024 season. The budding star who broke onto the scene last summer already has six home runs and ten stolen bases in his first 20 games, a feat matched nearly a century ago.

De La Cruz was hardly quiet at the plate during the Reds' win over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday moved the team over .500. The youngster lashed four walks and crossed the home plate once, aiding his side to clinch the victory.

He has performed dramatically this season, with a batting average of .290, 15 RBIs, and an OPS value of 1.033. He's also the National League leader in stolen bases, just to throw that in there.

De La Cruz's Historic Pace

The only time such a combination of power and speed has surfaced in the sport's early annals was the St.

Louis Browns' Ken Williams, who put up similar numbers in 1922. The only man within reach of the same plateaus this deep into a season during the last century is Williams, who led the American League in homers and RBIs that season, too by more than 40 total bases.

This achievement puts De La Cruz in an elite category and demonstrates his importance in this field. De La Cruz came into the big leagues with high expectations attached to him, courtesy of his athleticism and aggressive style of play.

He was labeled a top prospect for baseball in 2023. Rookie year stats: .235 BA, 13 HRs, 44 RBI, 25 SBs he finished seventh in voting for National League Rookie of the Year. That then begs the question of whether De La Cruz can maintain this quality throughout the rest of the season and maybe even be in the MVP race, his early-season set up to possibly be a year to remember much to the delight of Reds fans and lovers of baseball.

This young star, already redefining the limits of rookie success in the MLB, will have all eyes on him through the unfolding of the 2024 season.