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


Reds: The Elly question

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Reds: The Elly question

I did some digging this morning for context and perspective on the development of Elly De La Cruz. WARNING: This is by NO means a direct comparison.
And it is NOT presented as evidence to support sending Elly back to the minors. Elly turned 22 years old 83 days ago. I think people lose sight of just how little baseball he has actually played. He is clearly still raw and developing.

It's eye opening to see Elly's meteoric rise up the ladder. On the other end of the spectrum is a player like Joey Votto. His promotion up the organization ladder was much slower. He's talked in the past about being miffed he didn't get promoted earlier in his development. Elly was promoted at age 21, Votto at age 23. But consider the difference in experience to prepare each for the moment.

Minor league plate appearances before MLB promotion.
Elly: 964
Joey Votto: 3,004

Plate appearances by minor league season, prior to promotion:

Votto: 202-534-569-529-590-580.

Elly: 265-513-186

Elly has played at two different levels each of the last three seasons:
2021: Rookie, A
2022: A+, AA
2023: AAA/MLB

Elly plate appearances by minor league level
Rookie ball: 55
A-Ball 210
High-A 306
Double-A 207
Triple-A 186

There are certainly MLB players all over the spectrum of minor league development. Jay Bruce had about 1,500 plate appearances in the minor. Fernando Tatis Jr. about 1,200. Rangers rookie Wyatt Langford had 200 before making this year's opening day roster.

Again, I'm not posting this to draw a conclusion, either way. But looking at this certainly reinforces a fast track for Elly.

When does it all start to slow down for him?

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