Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister covers everything in Cincinnati sports! Host of sports talk on Cincinnati News Radio 700WLW and ESPN 1530!Full Bio


Honors for Reds top prospect De La Cruz

Per the Dayton Dragons

Dayton, Ohio—Minor League Baseball today announced its official 2022 Midwest League Full-Season All-Star Team and player awards. Elly De La Cruz was named the league’s “Top MLB Prospect” and was also named as the MWL’s all-star shortstop for the season.

De La Cruz became the first Dragons player to earn the top prospect award since the club’s inaugural season of 2000, when Dayton outfielder Austin Kearns shared the honor with Peoria’s Albert Pujols. De La Cruz becomes the first Dayton player to earn the award without a co-winner.

De La Cruz also becomes the first Dayton full-season all-star shortstop since Billy Hamilton in 2011, and just the fourth in Dragons history. Chris Valaika in 2007 and Zack Cozart in 2008 were also MWL full-season all-star shortstops.

De La Cruz is the 22nd player in Dragons history to be named to the full-season all-star team, joining a list that also includes Wily Mo Pena, Edwin Encarnacion, Jay Bruce, Justin Turner, Tyler Mahle, and Jose Siri among others.

De La Cruz spent the majority of the 2022 season with the Dragons and was previously selected as Cincinnati Reds 2022 Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America.

With the Dragons in 2022, De La Cruz was one of the youngest players in the Midwest League. He played in 72 games with the Dragons and batted .302 with 20 home runs. He finished just one home run short of the league lead despite being promoted to Double-A Chattanooga with about seven weeks to play in the season.

De La Cruz became the first player in Dragons history and first Midwest League player since 1999 (Corey Patterson, Lansing) to hit at least .300 with at least 20 home runs and at least 25 stolen bases.

Including his time this summer with Chattanooga after he was promoted from the Dragons in late-July, De La Cruz became the first player anywhere in Minor League Baseball to hit at least 25 home runs, steal at least 40 bases, and hit at least .300 in a season since George Springer in 2013.

In a late-season Baseball America survey of Midwest League managers, De La Cruz was named the league’s “Most Exciting Player,” “Best Batting Prospect,” “Best Power Prospect,” and “Fastest Baserunner.”

Photo courtesy: Dayton Dragons/MILB

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