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Fantasy baseball: What to expect from Reds SS prospect Elly De La Cruz after call-up

We take a look at the fantasy baseball value of Cincinnati Reds SS Elly De La Cruz.

Elly De La Cruz #44 of the Cincinnati Reds flies out in the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during a spring training game at Goodyear Ballpark on March 10, 2023 in Goodyear, Arizona. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Reds are calling up their top prospect Elly De La Cruz. He joins a crowded position for Cincinnati, but he is so talented that they are likely to find him somewhere to play. With his call-up, we go over what you should do with De La Cruz, as he is rostered in only 13.5% of ESPN leagues.

Shortstop is a deep position in fantasy baseball. Wander Franco and Bo Bichette lead the way in standard points leagues with 189 and 192 points, respectively. The benefit of several shortstops is that they come with positional variability. Guys like Nico Hoerner, Bobby Witt Jr. and Fernando Tatis are all top-nine fantasy shortstops with at least one more position they can be slotted into in your fantasy lineups. We will see what the Reds’ plan for De La Cruz will be, but for now, he is just going to be a solo shortstop.

The benefit of De La Cruz’s talent is that he can do a little bit of everything. He has spent this season with the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Louisville. Through 38 games, De La Cruz is hitting .298 with a .398 on-base percentage. He has 11 doubles, three triples, 12 home runs and 36 RBI. De La Cruz stands at 6 ft. 5 and uses his length and speed to be an above-average base stealer. He has swiped 11 bags this year but has gotten caught stealing six times. Still, the base-running ability will likely be fine-tuned at the major league level. This gives him a ton of upside for the rest of the season. At the very least, De La Cruz will become one of the more well-rounded shortstops available and has a great future outlook if he can stay in the big leagues.

With the De La Cruz call-up, the Reds have too many mouths to feed on the infield. Spencer Steer, Kevin Newman, Elly De La Cruz, Matt McClain, and Jonathan India are all competing for four positions, with veteran first baseman Joey Votto nearing a return from the injured list. This is a slight cause for concern, but if De La Cruz can keep the momentum he has built this season in the minors, he will force his way into the Reds’ batting order.