It took until the 8th game of Elly De La Cruz’s 2023 season for him to sock his first homer, surely a product of the rust-shaking needed once he returned to action following a spell on the sidelines with hamstring tightness. In the 20 games he has played since then, though...hoo buddy has he been every bit the top prospect in all of baseball.
His speed, arm, and defensive abilities aside, he’s hit a massive .321/.433/.679 (1.112 OPS) in 97 PA over that stretch, with 7 HR, a 15/23 BB/K, 21 ribbies, and 5 SB. That included this mammoth 465 foot homer - one done from the right-hand side of the plate, an area once though to maybe, maybe be the lone semi-weakness in the switch-hitter’s overall repertoire:
Elly De La Cruz with a— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 21, 2023
The @Reds' No. 1 prospect absolutely crushes his 7th homer of the season for the @LouisvilleBats. pic.twitter.com/rkYxyyENXp
It was somehow just the lone homer Elly hit over the last week with AAA Louisville, a ‘down’ week in which he posted merely a .976 OPS in 28 PA with a homer, a triple, a pair of doubles, a trio of swiped bags, and 4 walks. Call him up, and while we’re at it, maybe bring Christian Encarnacion-Strand up, too - all he did this week was go 10 for 23 with a homer and 5 (!!) doubles.
Down in AA Chattanooga, fellow top prospect Noelvi Marte has been similarly knocking the snot out of the ball. Marte had a hit in every game he played this week while going 10 for 25 overall, swatting a trio of homers, posting an impressive 3/4 BB/K in the process. And while the last 20 G from Elly has been completely bonkers, it’s Marte who actually owns a greater OPS over his last 20 G - 1.134, to be exact, a .367/.425/.709 mark in 87 PA that features 7 homers and 6 doubles, to boot.
His Saturday was pretty, pretty special:
Two-homer night for @MarteNoelvi and his scorching month of May continues:— Reds On The Rise (@RedsOnTheRise) May 20, 2023
1.136 OPS pic.twitter.com/m28nYf3TDL
The Lookouts also got a standout performance from Connor Phillips over the weekend, as the flamethrowin’ right-hander struck out 13 in 5.0 IP of 2 ER ball. That’s right, he recorded 15 total outs on the evening, and 13 of them came via K. The freshly-minted 22 year old now has 65 K in 36.1 IP, and it’s probably about time to send him up to join Andrew Abbott in Louisville to see what he can do with the non-lacey balls in the AAA International League.
Edwin Arroyo has finally heated up for High-A Dayton, going 9 for his last 30 with a pair of homers and a .300/.382/.600 line in that span. That said, both of those homers came last weekend, not this week, and would’ve been included in last week’s Farmers Only Weekly Harvest had my wife not been delivering our second child. Yay, baby! In lieu of giving him full-spot here, I’ll throw a bone to Chase Petty, who fired 4.0 IP of scoreless, 3 H ball in his start this week. That makes back to back 4.0 IP outings for Petty since beginning his season on May 10th, in which time he’s fanned 9 against just 2 walks and allowed only a lone earned run.
Carlos Jorge has been lights-out at the plate for Class-A Daytona all season, and in May owns a .412 OBP and .895 OPS overall. That includes multi-hit days in 8 of his last 13 games overall, and this week he went 8 for his last 19 overall. He’s built like a tank and is quickly rocketing up my own personal prospect rankings that I keep on a faded index card in my back pocket at all times so it gets that slight curve shaped like the profile of my butt cheek. Fellow infielder Victor Acosta - he of the deal that saw Brandon Drury head to San Diego last summer - also had a heckuva week, going 7 for 18 with a triple, a double, and a 2/2 BB/K.