Young Sensation Elly De La Cruz Crushes 458-Foot Home Run For First MLB Homer, Extends Reds' Winning Streak


Photo: Instagram/Elly De La Cruz

In an impressive display of power, Elly De La Cruz of the Cincinnati Reds launched a mammoth 458-foot home run, marking his first ever in the Major League Baseball.

This incredible feat took place during the Reds' game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night, resulting in an 8-6 victory for Cincinnati and extending the Dodgers' losing streak to four games, their longest of the season.

De La Cruz, a talented 21-year-old switch-hitter, received accolades as baseball's top prospect in ESPN's Kiley McDaniel's recent rankings. He wasted no time in showcasing his abilities, crushing an 0-1 fastball from Noah Syndergaard in the opening inning.

Photo: Instagram/Elly De La Cruz

The ball left his bat with a remarkable exit velocity of 114.8 mph, sailing into the far reaches of the right-field stands at Great American Ball Park. This powerful two-run homer leveled the score at 2 and left fans and teammates in awe.

Statcast, which has been tracking player performance since 2015, revealed that De La Cruz's home run was the second hardest-hit by a player aged 21 or younger. The only player to surpass him in this category was Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays, who achieved an exit velocity of 115.9 mph on August 21, 2020.

Reflecting on his accomplishment, De La Cruz admitted that he initially believed the ball was destined to clear the ballpark. He expressed his gratitude for the support from his teammates, who informed him that his massive shot had come incredibly close to leaving the entire stadium.

In addition to his home run heroics, De La Cruz also showcased his versatility on defense. After playing at third base during his debut, he moved to shortstop for this game and proved his prowess with a solid 2-for-4 performance at the plate.

Notably, he hit a triple in the third inning, a well-struck ball that reached the right-center wall in just four hops. According to Statcast, De La Cruz's blazing speed allowed him to reach third base in an astonishing 10.83 seconds, the fastest time recorded in the major leagues this season.

Since the start of the 2020 season, only Corbin Carroll of the Arizona Diamondbacks has been faster, clocking in at 10.75 seconds on October 3. Despite initially facing a 6-2 deficit, the Reds rallied in the third inning with a four-run surge.

Jonathan India contributed with a sacrifice fly, Spencer Steer added an RBI single, and Tyler Stephenson sealed the comeback with a two-run homer. The game culminated in dramatic fashion when T.J. Hopkins secured an infield single in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Subsequently, Will Benson stepped up to the plate and delivered a walk-off home run off Evan Phillips (1-2), securing Cincinnati's second consecutive walk-off win and propelling them to a three-game winning streak. Benson joined an elite group of Cincinnati players, including Jay Bruce in 2008 and Drew Stubbs in 2009, as the only individuals to achieve a walk-off for their first career home run.

Overwhelmed by the moment, Benson expressed his awe and excitement, emphasizing that such an accomplishment was beyond anything he could have imagined. He had prepared himself for the crucial at-bat and managed to connect cleanly, harnessing raw emotion and giving his all on the field. When success came, he found himself overwhelmed by the magnitude of the achievement.

Read Next: Rookie Sensation Christian Braun Ignites Nuggets' Victory In NBA Finals Game 3

Source: ESPN


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