1 major difference between Reds prospect Elly De La Cruz and Braves rookie Michael Harris II

Atlanta Braves outfielder Michael Harris II
Atlanta Braves outfielder Michael Harris II / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Michael Harris II has taken the Major League Baseball world by storm. Harris II and his Atlanta Braves teammate Spencer Strider will be duking out for the right to be called the 2022 NL Rookie of the Year.

Harris II's ascension to the upper echelon on the major leagues has many Cincinnati Reds fans dreaming about what could be with top infield prospect Elly De La Cruz. After all, Harris II was called up to the big leagues without setting foot on a Triple-A diamond.

In fact, the 47 games De La Cruz played with Chattanooga Lookouts this season is already more than the number of games that Harris II played in Double-A before joining the Braves in late-May. But there's one major difference between Harris II and De La Cruz.

Reds prospect Elly De La Cruz should stay in the minors for now.

In fewer than 200 at-bats at Double-A, Michael Harris II hit .305/.372/.506 with a wRC+ of 130. The Atlanta Braves decided that they'd seen enough and Harris II became a regular in Brian Snitker's lineup.

Elly De La Cruz absolutely dominated opposing pitchers at High-A Dayton. In 73 games with the Dragons, the shortstop hit .302/.359/.609 with a wRC+ of 161. The Reds decided to then elevate De La Cruz to Double-A where he hit .305/.357/.553 with a wRC+ of 134.

Those numbers are incredibly similar and would naturally lead a lot of Reds fans to believe that it's possible for De La Cruz to make the jump to the big leagues without playing at Triple-A. That's certainly a possibility, but there's one key stat that separates the two young players and should keep De La Cruz in the minors to begin next season.

In his 43 games at Double-A, Michael Harris II posted a strikeout-rate of 19.9%. One look at Elly De La Cruz's strikeout-rate will show you the biggest area of concern for the young infielder going forward. De La Cruz struck out at nearly a 31.0% clip in 207 at-bats for Double-A Chattanooga last season.

Elly De La Cruz certainly looks the part and could be the next big thing in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. But just because another young player has success in the majors, it's not necessarily an indicator of what's to come for another.

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