Elly De La Cruz burst onto the major league scene in June. The electric infielder took Major League Baseball by storm, and Reds Country couldn't get enough of their budding star.
But some of the shine has worn off as the Cincinnati Reds now occupy third place in the National League Central. De La Cruz has been mired in a slump and the strikeouts are piling up.
In fact, since being elevated to the team's leadoff hitter on July 17th against the San Francisco Giants, De La Cruz is hitting just .207 with an on-base percentage of .280 and strikeout-rate of 40.6-percent.
Strikeouts aren't the only staggering stat slowing down Elly De La Cruz.
While striking out nearly once every other at-bat is staggering, that's not the most troublesome stat when it comes to Elly De La Cruz's sluggish performance. Worse than his unsustainable strikeout-rate is the fact that he's stolen just one base since being moved into the leadoff spot. Yes, you read that correctly.
De La Cruz stole one base during the same game against the Giants last month when he began batting leadoff. He was also caught stealing during that game and has been thrown out two other times since, including Wednesday when he was picked off after reaching first on a single in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Prior to be bumped up in the batting order, according to FanGraphs, Elly De La Cruz was hitting .297/.333/.478 with a 29.9-percent strikeout-rate. De La Cruz had 16 swipes during that time and was only gunned down twice.
Jonathan India may be returning to the Cincinnati Reds lineup on Friday. If that's the case, the first move Reds manager David Bell should make is to immediately install India atop his lineup card.
Elly De La Cruz is a phenomenal talent. The 21-year-old can do things on the baseball diamond that most players can't. But his most impressive attribute at this point in his young career has been his speed. However, he can't use it if he doesn't get on base.