Here's Proof That Elly De La Cruz Can Turn Anything Into a Run

His speed is unbelievable.
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
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Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz is an absolute terror on the basepaths. He currently leads the majors with 15 stolen bases (three more than second place) and ranks fifth in sprint speed, according to Statcast. He’s also tied for fourth in the league in home runs, recording seven so far this season. But even when pitchers manage to keep him from leaving the ballpark, they can’t breathe easy.

In Wednesday‘s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, De La Cruz showed why it’s so important for opposing teams to keep him off the basepaths. He reached on a single and then used his blazing speed to manufacture a run essentially on his own.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, De La Cruz ripped a single over the head of the shortstop with an exit velocity of 104.7 mph and then proceeded to steal second and third on consecutive pitches. So when Spencer Steer hit a fly ball out to the warning track in right, De La Cruz had no trouble tagging up and scoring on the sacrifice fly.

De La Cruz has plenty of power to pick up extra-base hits (he now has 20 homers, 20 doubles and eight triples in 122 career games), but his ability to turn a single into a triple by swiping bags like he did on Wednesday is a dangerous quality that not many players have.


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Dan Gartland

DAN GARTLAND

Dan Gartland is the writer and editor of Sports Illustrated’s flagship daily newsletter, SI:AM, covering everything an educated sports fan needs to know. Previously published on Deadspin and Slate, Dan also is a former Sports Jeopardy! champion (Season 1, Episode 5).