It will be nearly impossible for the Reds to keep Elly De La Cruz off the 2023 Opening Day roster

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Elly De La Cruz, Cincinnati Reds
SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Elly De La Cruz, Cincinnati Reds / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

Sports talk host Dan Patrick popularized the phrase, "You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him." In no way can the Cincinnati Reds stop Elly De La Cruz from ascending to the major leagues, but they may well hope to contain him.

The Reds would prefer to keep Elly De La Cruz in the minor leagues to begin the 2023 season, but the talented, young shortstop prospect may have other ideas. De La Cruz, currently playing in the Dominican Winter League, hit an absolute tank over the 411-foot center field wall last night for the Tigres de Licey. It was De La Cruz's first home run of the DOWL season.

The question that is on the mind of Reds fan is this - when will De La Cruz make his major league debut? It may be sooner than we think, and it may be sooner than the Reds front office would like to admit.

How long can the Reds keep Elly De La Cruz in the minors?

The Cincinnati Reds do not have many viable options at shortstop heading into next season. Jose Barrero, who was assumed to be the shortstop of the future, struggled mightily in 2022; both on the field and in the batters' box. Barrero's future with the team is cloudy at best.

Kyle Farmer could start in a pinch, but the veteran lost a step defensively and looked much more comfortable at third base. Plus, it's only a matter of time before one of the young shortstop prospects outplays the veteran and inevitably the Reds will just move Farmer once again. Best to leave him at third base for now.

Matt McLain can play shortstop and is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League. McLain has an advanced approach at the plate and has the arm and athleticism to play shortstop in the big leagues. But McLain is not near as dynamic as Elly De La Cruz.

De La Cruz has a superstar feel and will be compared to the likes of Julio Rodriguez and Fernando Tatis Jr. in terms of how his presence on the field and in the dugout will impact the game.

But will the Cincinnati Reds make the move and put Elly De La Cruz on the team's Opening Day roster in 2023? A lot of things have to break De La Cruz's way before that happens. Don't forget that he's only played about two months at Double-A, and while he was terrific for the Chattanooga Lookouts last season, there's a big difference between Double-A and the big leagues.

The Reds have the makings of an exciting, young team in 2023. They may not win 80 games, but as a whole, the group of players should be fun to watch. If Elly De La Cruz is part of that group, it will only heighten the level of excitement surrounding the Cincinnati Reds.

dark. Next. Way-too-early Reds 2023 Opening Day roster predictions