The Cincinnati Reds are not a very good baseball.
In fact, the Reds are one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball at 27-33 and have been that way for a number of years.
Cincy last made the playoffs in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and hasn’t won a round in the playoffs since 1995, which almost seems impossible.
BUT, it’s not all bad for the Reds and their fans. Young starters Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo have the makings of a potent 1-2 punch and second-year first baseman Spencer Steer has shown some impressive power potential at the dish.
However, neither Steer nor Greene or Lodolo are the reason Cincinnati fans are most excited about the future.
That honor goes to outfield prospect Elly De La Cruz
The Reds signed De La Cruz as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republican in 2018. Since then, the 6-foot-5, 200-pound switch hitter has flown up prospect rankings.
MLB.com currently ranks him as the top prospect in the Reds system and the No. 4 overall prospect in the entire league.
One look at his stat line in the minors and it’s easy to see why. De La Cruz is his .298 with 12 home runs, 36 RBIs and and 38 runs scored in just 38 games with AAA Louisville this year.
He’ll have to reign in his strikeouts (50) a bit, but there’s a lot to like there for Reds manager David Bell.
“There are few prospects more dynamic than De La Cruz, both in terms of his five-tool potential and the joy and passion he brings to his game,” MLB.com’s player profile says of De La Cruz. “The switch-hitter’s plus bat speed has been amplified as he’s added strength, and he has legitimate plus power, especially from the left side of the plate.”
Cincy is still a little bit away from truly contending. But it may well have a superstar on its hands with Elly De La Cruz.