Elly De La Cruz clears hardest-hit Reds ball in years for first MLB home run

Elly De La Cruz smashes baseballs early in her MLB debut.  (Katie Stratman - Reuters)

Elly De La Cruz smashes baseballs early in her MLB debut. (Katie Stratman – Reuters)

That’s why the Cincinnati Reds brought in Elly De La Cruz.

A day after being promoted from Triple-A Louisville, De La Cruz was cleaning up Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. With Noah Syndergaard on the mound and a man in second, De La Cruz faced a 0-1 shot. Syndergaard threw a 92mph fastball that grazed the top inside corner of the strike zone.

De La Cruz erased it completely.

The batter threw the ball over the right field wall and deep into the stands at Great American Ball Park. There he escaped the grasp of a hopeful fan and bounced into the very last row of seats. The gigantic home run tied the game 2-2.

It also continued De La Cruz’s early assault on the Reds’ record books. According to Statcast, the 458-foot home run let his bat travel 114.8 mph. This makes it the hardest hit ball by a Reds player since 2019 and the fourth hardest hit by a red since Statcast started tracking exit speed in 2015.

The hit marks the second time in two days that De La Cruz has significantly scored a baseball. In his MLB debut on Tuesday, while also hitting the cleanup, he hit a 112 mph double to the center field wall. Until Wednesday, it was the hardest hit ball by a Reds player this season.

He finished his debut 1-for-3 with two walks, a brace and a run scored in a 9-8 Reds win over the Dodgers. Surely there are more fireworks to come.

The 21-year-old infielder, who ranked first through fourth in the MLB prospect rankings, has been a baseball smoker at every level. In a single game at Louisville, he hit three balls with a speed of at least 116 mph. His hardest-hit ball in that May 9 game traveled 118.8 mph for an RBI double. It was the hardest hit ball in Triple A or MLB this year.

While hard hitting balls are his calling card, De La Cruz is far from a one-act player. He boasts top speed on base runs and one of the strongest arms in baseball. A 99.2 mph throw in Louisville in May was the fastest this year in Triple-A or MLB.

Did we mention he’s a switch hitter? Well, it bears repeating.

Enjoy it, Reds fans. You have a special player.

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