1. Reds SS Elly De La Cruz could be the next face of the franchise
Elly De La Cruz is the obvious choice to take over as the face of the Cincinnati Reds franchise. While a awe-inspiring debut filled with power and speed captivated the sports media world, De La Cruz soon came back to earth and showed that he was still just a 21-year-old rookie.
But don't let his rookie struggles detract from the talent that De La Cruz possesses. The lightning-fast infielder has talent that very few in this game actually possess. The speed and power combo would appear to be unmatched by almost anyone in baseball today.
Yes, De La Cruz piled up a massive number of strikeouts in 2023. And yes, he made more errors at shortstop than most Reds fans care to count. That's all part of the learning process for talent that the Cincinnati faithful haven't seen since the debut of Jay Bruce.
Elly De La Cruz already has the media eating out his hand. With the Boras Corporation as his representation, the opportunities off the field will be limitless. De La Cruz's No. 44 already ranks among the Top 20 selling jerseys in Major League Baseball.
Will the production match the hype? That's the question heading into next season. De La Cruz gave the entire baseball community a glimpse of what he could do in 2023. In 2024, the shortstop will have the chance to become a star. Without Joey Votto, Elly De La Cruz is the face of the Reds franchise.