Elly De La Cruz took his MLB first impression to heart and has landed himself in the Rookie of the Year conversation after two major league games.
The Reds’ shortstop was in the minor leagues only a week ago and arrived on the Cincinnati scene on Tuesday as one of the most anticipated prospects in the game.
In his second game, he impressed with his first major-league home run, which landed him the second-best odds (+350, BetMGM) to win the National League Rookie of the Year.
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Before the season began, the favorite was Arizona’s Corbin Carroll with +350 odds and De La Cruz, 21, originally held +1200 to take home the award.
However, after the new blood went 3-for-7 in his first two games for a home run and two RBIs, De La Cruz and Carroll have switched placements, with Carroll now sitting at -130.
In his second game on Wednesday, De La Cruz — the seemingly triple threat in speed, arm, and power — hit a 458-foot home run and was timed in an MLB-best 10.93 seconds to earn a triple against the Dodgers.
On Thursday’s game — his third — he went 1-for-4 with one stolen base and currently holds a slash line of .364/.462/.909 with a 1.371 OPS.
With the addition of De La Cruz, it looks like the Reds will land with the Rookie of the Year.
Other top contenders in the red and white include Matt McClain, who sits at +2500, Spencer Steer (+3000), and Andrew Abbott (+4000).
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This year in the minors in Louisville, De La Cruz posted a slash line of .298/.398/.633 over 38 games for 12 home runs, 36 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases.
He had been in the minors under the Reds since 2019.