Predicting when Reds prospect Elly De La Cruz will make his major league debut

Cincinnati Reds prospect Elly De La Cruz
Cincinnati Reds prospect Elly De La Cruz / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

As a Reds fan, it feels like you can't even go one day without mentioning the ridiculous exploits of Cincinnati's top prospect Elly De La Cruz.

The sensational 21-year-old shortstop hit a home run that literally left the yard last week. That's right, De La Cruz sent a ball out of Louisville Slugger Field and onto Witherspoon Street.

The tools that De La Cruz possesses may be second to none. The Cincinnati Reds added De La Cruz to the team's 40-man roster over the offseason, so how much longer will the fanbase have to wait until De La Cruz makes his major league debut?

Predicting when Reds prospect Elly De La Cruz will make his MLB debut.

Could the Cincinnati Reds call up Elly De La Cruz today and never look back? Sure, but that doesn't seem too likely. After all, Cincinnati just promoted Matt McLain to the bigs a week ago and Reds manager David Bell is trying to figure out how to best utilize the current crop of 26 players on his roster.

McLain has seen time at shortstop, Jose Barrero has logged innings in center field, and Nick Senzel has looked pretty darn good at the hot corner. It's hard to see Bell and Reds mess with a good thing at the moment. Plus, it sounds as if TJ Friedl will be coming back very soon as well.

But with a talent like De La Cruz, you make a spot for him. Whether it's shortstop, third base, center field, or even DH, his bat is too good to just leave in the minors because Barrero is learning a new position. Who's place De La Cruz takes is anyone's guess, but there's no shortage of players who could lose playing time or their roster spot the organization's young stud.

So when might the Cincinnati Reds actually pull the trigger and call up Elly De La Cruz. Well, the best predictor or future behavior is past behavior. For the past two seasons, the Reds have allowed De La Cruz to accumulate at least 200 plate appearances at each minor league level before bumping the infielder up the ladder.

Currently, De La Cruz has made 131 plate appearances at Triple-A and is more than handling the competition. If De La Cruz averages about five plate appearances per game, it'll take him about another two weeks to eclipse that 200 mark that has essentially been a threshold for him to graduate to the next level.

That would put Elly De La Cruz right in line to start the seven-game homestand with the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers coming to town. Mark your calendars for Friday, June 2, 2023, as that could be the day that the Reds top prospect makes his major league debut.

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