Elly De La Cruz is a force of nature. The Cincinnati Reds shortstop has been electrifying ever since he made his MLB debut last season. On the plate, De La Cruz brings a rare combination of speed and power that makes him tough to face. On defense, he's got the athleticism to make plays from shortstop while rocking a cannon arm.

Against the Milwaukee Brewers, De La Cruz showed off that arm yet again. In the second inning of their game, De La Cruz fielded a Bryce Turang grounder in an awkward position. Despite that, the Reds star fired a dart to first base, securing the out and ending the inning in style. Snoop Dogg, who was commentating for Cincinnati in the game, had one hell of a reaction (video via ClutchPoints).


A rocket arm, indeed. Playing shortstop requires you to have quick-twitch reflexes as well as an arm to make that oh-so-important throw to first base. The ability to throw on the run like what the Reds star did here is extremely valuable.

As for De La Cruz's hitting, the Reds star has made some important changes to his plate approach. His batting average is more or less the same from last season, with just a .005 dip. However, De La Cruz is striking out less and has drawn more walks compared to last season. The result is a much cleaner batting profile that makes him much harder to get out.

As for the Brewers series, Milwaukee was able to get the jump on the Reds in Game 2 of their series. De La Cruz was the only run of the game, drawing a walk and then being sent to home on a Jeimer Candelario hit. Cincinnati took Game 1 of the series with a 6-5 score. The offense was much more active in that game, with Elly knocking in a run while getting two hits and drawing a walk.

Reds' frustrating season

After their Cinderella run was cut short last season, the Reds have been on a bit of a slump this season. They are struggling to find their form this season with a lot of ups and downs. A 14-10 start to the year seemed to signal that this team was indeed a contender. After that, though, Cincinnati tumbled into a 20-30 record, sparking concerns about the team.

Since then, though, the Reds have recovered somewhat and are now just two games under .500 after the Brewers loss. With the state of the NL right now, the Reds are still in the running for a Wild Card race. Reaching Milwaukee might be a bit of a tough task, but it's not impossible, too. This steam is a young squad trying to find their identity, so it's natural to have some bumps in the road to the playoffs.

Still, the future is quite bright for the Reds. De La Cruz is the backbone of the youth movement, with some veterans helping them along the way. How far will this team go in the season?