5 reasons why Elly De La Cruz won't make the Reds Opening Day roster

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz at SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz at SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages
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4. Reds prospect Elly De La Cruz needs to cut down on his strikeouts.

About 10 years ago, a player with Elly De La Cruz's strikeout numbers would still be navigating how to make the leap from A-Ball to Double-A. De La Cruz posted a 30.8% strikeout-rate between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga last season.

However, despite the high number of Ks, De La Cruz still posted a wRC+ of 150 according to FanGraphs. That's a quick way to make folks forget about 158 strikeouts in 471 at-bats. But the fact remains, that numbers got to come down.

Jose Barrero, who so many Reds fans chastise because of his nearly 40.0% strikeout-rate in the big leagues last season, didn't see near that many K's in the minors. During his breakout 2021 season (between Double-A and Triple-A), Barrero posted a meager K-rate of just 22.1%.

Now, that's not to say that De La Cruz will suffer the same fate as Barrero once he reaches the big leagues, but the bottom line is that competition at the major league level is the best of the best. If De La Cruz is posting a strikeout-rate north of 30.0% in the minors, it'll likely higher in the majors.

Elly De La Cruz has all the tools and intangibles to make a lot of things happen on the field. But he's going down on strikeouts once every three at-bats, his production will be serverly limited. There's very few flaws in De La Cruz's game, but the high number of strikeouts is certainly one of them.