Elly De La Cruz does it all.
The Cincinnati Reds rookie phenom has been turning heads all season. Saturday afternoon, he added another highlight for his already lengthy reel.
The Reds’ top prospect, who’s already becoming one of the best players in the game, stole not one, not two, but three bases, including home, on just two pitches.
In the top of the seventh inning, De La Cruz gave the Reds a 6-5 lead with an RBI single. But that was far from his most impressive feat.
De La Cruz stole second to get himself into scoring position, but he wanted to get even closer. So, he wound up stealing third two pitches later. But he never stopped moving.
So, while Milwaukee Brewers reliever Elvis Peguero was setting himself up to deliver a pitch, De La Cruz took off for home. Peguero threw home, but it was too late, and De La Cruz’s lightning speed made it a 7-5 game.
They were De La Cruz’s 14th, 15th and 16th stolen bases of the season, and, according to OptaSTATS, he became the first person in 50 years to steal second, third and home with the same batter at the plate.
De La Cruz has been in the big leagues since June 6, but he already may be MLB’s most exciting player. Not only did he enter Saturday hitting .325 with a .904 OPS, but he has had a flair for the dramatic.
In his 15th MLB game, he hit for the cycle and completed it with a triple. In his MLB debut, he got his first hit, and it left the bat at 112 mph. His first MLB home run traveled 458 feet.
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Earlier this week, he found himself in some hot water with Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez. The Nats had his bat checked during a second-inning at-bat because it had a tracking device. Umpires told him to remove it despite it being legal, but De La Cruz got his satisfaction.
In his next plate appearance, with the device allowed back on his bat, he blasted a 455-foot home run, and pointed to the device as a bit of a taunt.
Martinez said he “didn’t like” the “antics,” and “we can do without that.”
But whatever De La Cruz is doing is working in Cincinnati. The Reds are 23-7 since they called him up.
Not many expected the Reds to contend for a postseason spot, but they lead the NL Central by two games with a 50-40 record.
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