Reds rookie sensation Elly De La Cruz added to the buzz surrounding his name on Saturday with a bold claim after logging another highlight courtesy of the dazzling speed that’s already become a staple of his game.
The Reds’ 8–4 road win over the Cardinals featured a show-stealing play from De La Cruz in the top of the seventh inning. After reaching on a fielder’s choice in his fourth at-bat, De La Cruz anticipated his next move as Spencer Steer stepped to the plate.
De La Cruz took off like a rocket on Steer’s two-run double to center, sprinting from first to home in 11.48 seconds, per MLB.com, after flying past a stop sign from third-base coach J.R. House.
After the game, De La Cruz, seemingly impressed with himself, confidently sent a message about his speed to not only all of Major League Baseball but the entire sports world.
“I am the fastest man in the world,” De La Cruz said after the game, via The Athletic.
Needless to say, plays like De La Cruz’s display on Saturday are a big reason why the 21-year-old has quickly become a rising star since debuting against the Dodgers on June 6. And, while Usain Bolt would probably like a word, De La Cruz may already have a case to back up his claim.
Reds second baseman Jonathan India, who scored right before De La Cruz, echoed his teammate’s sentiments after offering his view of the play post-game. India scored just moments ahead of De La Cruz despite having a 90-foot head start from second.
“When I crossed the plate, I turned around and he was already sliding. ... He's the fastest human I’ve ever seen on a baseball field,” India said.