The 21-year-old De La Cruz -- manning the hot corner, batting cleanup in manager David Bell's lineup, and wearing Eric Davis' old No. 44 -- worked a walk off Tony Gonsolin in the first inning. He came up again in the bottom of the third against Gonsolin and registered his first big-league hit. Here's a look:
Like the caption says, that laser of a double to the gap left the bat at 112 mph, which makes it the hardest-hit ball by any Red this season. Also on display was De La Cruz's blazing speed, as he clocked in at 30.4 feet per second on that dash to the second-base bag (30 feet per second is considered elite at the highest level).
De La Cruz ended his first MLB game 1-3 at the plate with a pair of walks and a run scored. The Reds plated three runs in the ninth to eke out a 9-8 comeback win over the Dodgers.
When De La Cruz came into the 2023 season, our R.J. Anderson ranked De La Cruz as. Since then, he slashed .298/.398/.633 with 26 extra-base hits and 11 stolen bases in 38 games at Triple-A, enough to land him at . Within, Anderson cited De La Cruz's "elite power...and near-elite speed." The speedy infielder also showed top-of-the-scale batted-ball metrics in Triple-A and substantially improved patience at the plate. The tools have always been there, and in 2023, De La Cruz has shown skills growth. He's very much looking like a future star, and he reinforced that notion in his first major-league game.