Cincinnati Reds third baseman Elly De La Cruz has been in the majors for less than three weeks, but he’s already taking the baseball world by storm.
The Reds called up De La Cruz, the third-ranked prospect in the majors, on June 6, and in his first game, he got his first hit coming off the bat at 112 mph. One night later, he hit a 458-foot home run, the first of his major league career.
Two and a half weeks later, he hit for the cycle, and he did it in just six innings of work.
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In his first at-bat against the Atlanta Braves on Friday night, De La Cruz doubled. Next inning, he hit a two-run home run to cut the Reds’ deficit to 5-4.
In the fifth inning, he got the easy one out of the way, driving in a single that also drove in a run.
The odds of De La Cruz getting back up were pretty high, but he didn’t want to waste time.
Needing the toughest of the four for the cycle, he led a switch to the gap between right-center field. He not only scored his fourth RBI of the night, but he wasn’t slowing down for nothing.
Center fielder Michael Harris II played against the wall, but De La Cruz slid to third safely.
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It was the first cycle for a Red since Eric Davis did it in 1989, and De La Cruz is the youngest player (21 years, 163 days) to hit for the cycle since César Cedeño in 1972.
In spring training, the Reds were an afterthought. Now, they lead the NL Central and tied a franchise record with a 12th straight win on Friday.
Upon completion of the cycle, De La Cruz raised his batting average to .367 and his OPS to 1.091.
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It was the third cycle in MLB this year: The Florida Marlin’s Luis Arraez (who is hitting .402) and the Balitmore Orioles’ Cedric Mullins also accomplished the feat earlier this season.