Reds prospect Elly De La Cruz has superstar potential.
Everyone has been singing the praises of shortstop prospect Elly De La Cruz, and I'm going to jump on the bandwagon before it gets too crowded. De La Cruz is only 20 years old and has yet to scratch the surface of what he's capable of.
Last season, in the Arizona Complex League, De La Cruz showcased unbelievable talent. The shortstop hit .400/.455/.780 and posted a wRC+ of 210 in only 55 plate appearances. That got De La Cruz quickly promoted to Low-A Daytona.
The former international signee struggled a little, but that's to be expected. De La Cruz still posted a wRC+ of 106 and a slugging percentage of .477. His power, coupled with his slick fielding and speed offer a tantalizing glimpse into the future.
But, like Allan Cerda and Yerlin Confidan, pitch recognition will be key to Elly De La Cruz becoming a star or flaming out in the minor leagues. Like Jose Barrero before him, all the tools are there for De La Cruz to become elite, but he's got to prove it in the minors.
Seeing as how the Cincinnati Reds do not need to add De La Cruz to the 40-man roster until this coming winter, they'll have plenty of time to be sure the infield prospect has been given enough opportunity to develop. With infielders like the aforementioned Barrero, Ivan Johnson, and Matt McLain being further along in their careers, the Reds can afford to be patient with De La Cruz.