30.7%. 30.9%. 8th.
Three different numerical values, and the only three that are keeping Elly De La Cruz from being pretty universally considered the best prospect in all of baseball these days. The first two represent his K-rates from A+ Dayton and AA Chattanooga last season, respectively, the last of that trio representing where he ranks in the latest Top 100 update from Baseball America - a list that dropped earlier on Wednesday.
INTRODUCING ....— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) January 18, 2023
2023 Top 100 Prospectshttps://t.co/anoG4NiBHP
Elly hit .300, flirted with 30 total homers, damn near slugged .600, swiped nearly 50 bags, and did it all while playing the kind of defense at shortstop that makes scouts drool. That kind of elite athleticism, power, speed, and arm makes for a player any team in the game would fight to have, his occasional swing and miss issues easy to overlook given that overall combo.
Elly represents the future of the Cincinnati Reds, and checked in higher on BA’s list than any other Reds farmhand on this update. Joining him on the list were Noelvi Marte (63rd), Edwin Arroyo (65), and Cam Collier (70th).
Clearly, BA saw something amiss with Marte’s overall performance during his 2022 season as they ranked him 18th overall this time last year. It will be interesting to see if other places have soured on the prize of the Luis Castillo trade as much when their annual updates are released in the coming weeks. Speaking of former Seattle prospects who now ply their trade in the Cincinnati system, pitcher Brandon Williamson - a key piece of the Eugenio Suarez/Jesse Winker deal - fell off the list altogether after ranking 83rd a year ago.