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We Drastically Overrated Elly De La Cruz

John Fisher. Getty Images.

I do believe Elly De La Cruz is going to be a very good baseball player one day. He may even be great. I'd be shocked if he doesn't make multiple All-Star Games when it is all said and done. Having said all of that, he kinda stinks right now. 

This guy had the information months ago but people really didn't want to hear it. The replies were…not kind.

There's a bunch more like that calling the guy a nerd or a geek. Ends up, he was exactly right. Since the All-Star Break, Elly De La Cruz isn't just not a great player…he's been an awful one. Since the All-Star Break he's done this:

55 Games, 215 AB, 7 HR, 20 RBI, .181 AVG, .261 OBP, .340 SLG

He's batting .167 in September. He's only getting worse with each passing day. The league has the book on him and knows how to get him out. He has 88 strikeouts since the All-Star Break alone!

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I get it. He's so much fun to watch. There might not be a more exciting player in all of baseball. That doesn't mean he's helping his team right now. He's back in the lineup today but he didn't start yesterday. His WAR for the season is down to 0.8. The Reds are right in the middle of the Wild Card race. If De La Cruz can play like he did in June (.307/.358/.523), that could be the difference maker. I just don't see these fixes being something that can be done on the fly. He'll need the off-season and spring training coaching to figure this out.

The crazy thing is De La Cruz isn't close to being the best rookie on his own team. Matt McLain has been incredible in only 89 games with a 3.6 WAR and a batting line of .290/.357/.507. He's recovering from an oblique injury but there is hope he'll be brought back in a week or so. The Reds best starting pitcher (by far) is also a rookie. Andrew Abbott is 8-5 this season with a 3.64 ERA. He's starting to show signs of running out of gas as the season goes on but his future is bright. The team leader in home runs? Spencer Steer who is yet another rookie with 20.

I've been saying since the Reds got hot in June that I didn't believe in them. They aren't gong to win the division but they've still exceeded my expectations. They are 76-71 and in a virtual 4-way tie for the final wild card spot with the DBacks, Giants and Marlins. I think the Giants and DBacks are more complete rosters but to the Reds defense, they have the easiest remaining schedule. There are only 15 games left so anything can happen.

Elly De La Cruz has as much raw talent as anyone in the majors. If he can figure it out, he could be the reason they make the playoffs. If he keeps hitting .180 and striking out multiple times a game, his collapse could be one of the primary reasons they fall short.