Elly De la Cruz is one of the most talented Cincinnati Reds prospects in recent memory. With a combination of power and speed that most Reds fans haven't seen since Eric Davis; De La Cruz is electricity on the diamond.
Yet, one aching question throughout his short stint in the major leagues has been what position will De La Cruz ultimately play - third base or shortstop?
While the current answer hasn't been submitted, the truth of the matter is De La Cruz is talented enough to play either position. But moving forward De La Cruz should be the Reds everyday shortstop. This was true even before elevating Noelvi Marte to the major leagues.
There's ultimately one position that Elly De La Cruz should play going forward.
Elly De La Cruz is listed at 6-foot-5 and may still be growing. De La Cruz has shown off his strong arm, typically metrics support that a player being at the hot corner. Yet, De La Cruz, who says he's the fastest man alive, played the majority of his 39 games at Triple-A while fielding he shortstop position.
With top prospect Noelvi Marte now part of the active roster, and manager David Bell saying that the 21-year-old will be the Reds everyday third baseman, there's even more reason to believe that Cincinnati sees De La Cruz at shortstop over the long haul.
The talented youth movement in Cincinnati suggests that De La Cruz at shortshop and Marte at third base will join Matt McLain at the keytone and Christian Encarnacion-Strand at first base for the remainder of the 2023 season and into 2024. Reds fans got a preview of that on Sunday afternoon with an all-rookie infield.
This lineup doesn't bode well for Jonathan India's future in the Queen City. India has been on the IL with a foot injury, and the Reds starting second baseman has been replaced by the aformentioned McLain.
With so many talented rookies in the lineup, the Cincinnati Reds youth movement is exciting for fans and Major League Baseball as a whole. The Reds must go all in with De Le Cruz as the most exciting part of those rookies. Part of going all in is making him a home at shortstop for the next decade.