Elly De La Cruz has launched his Major League Baseball with a bang…
The 21-year-old Dominican professional baseball infielder for the Cincinnati Reds hit his first MLB home run with a 458-foot, two-run drive off the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ Noah Syndergaard on Wednesday night and later tripled.
With fellow rookie Matt McLain on second base in the first inning, De La Cruz, a switch-hitter, smashed an 0-1 fastball that left the bat at 114.8 mph and landed in the last rows of the right-field stands at Great American Ball Park.
A day after making his big league debut, De La Cruz, who was named baseball’s top prospect by ESPN‘s Kiley McDaniel in his updated rankings last month, had the second-hardest-hit home run by a player 21 or younger since Statcast started tracking in 2015.
A homer by the Toronto Blue Jays‘ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on August 21, 2020, had an exit velocity of 115.9 mph.
De La Cruz tripled on a curveball in the third, a drive that went to the wall in right-center on four hops.
He reached third in 10.83 seconds, the fastest time in the major leagues this season, according to Statcast. It was the second fastest since the start of the 2020 season, behind 10.75 seconds for the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ Corbin Carroll last October 3.
Cruz was 1-for-3 with two walks in his debut Tuesday night. Wednesday night’s home run came in his sixth plate appearance.
The shortstop hit .298 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs in 38 games for Triple-A Louisville this season.