Phillies prospect Carlos De La Cruz keeps heating up

Phillies De La Cruz
Photo by Alec Kostival

Phillies’ prospect Carlos De La Cruz has played 215 games at the Double-A level but might be in the best stretch of his career. It didn’t start like that this season.

Through May 17th, De La Cruz was struggling mightily at the plate. He was slashing just .156/.230/.244. The power he’d come to be known for had suddenly drained, finding just 4 extra-base hits in those first 25 games.

In his subsequent 23 games, he’s found everything he had lost and then some.

Reading Phils De La Cruz
Carlos De La Cruz takes a swing in Reading’s Home Opener. Photo by Alec Kostival

De La Cruz is heating up

“It was only a matter of time before he broke out of his little funk,” said Reading hitting coach Brock Stassi.

Stassi, a former MLB player with the Phillies, seemed to expect this stretch out of Philadelphia’s #12 prospect according to Stassi cited De La Cruz’s hard work and determination to get back to a level of success that he’d become accustomed to at Double-A.

“He’s been working really,” said Stassi. “He’s just been challenging himself a lot more in the cage lately. Machine velo, more firm [batting practice].”

In those aforementioned 215 games, De La Cruz has hit .260 with a .796 OPS, racking up 38 home runs. In his last 23 games, he’s slashing .341/.437/.625. He’s hit 5 homers in June, including a go-ahead moonshot Saturday night. He’s also limited his strikeouts during this stretch and at 6’7″ that isn’t easy. He struck out 40 times in his first 25 games and just 26 times since.

De La Cruz says the turnaround has been based mostly on 2 factors. He states that he had been working mostly on his mental game, working on his confidence at the plate.

“You just gotta clear your head,” said De La Cruz. “Try to go play ball and just worry about what you gotta do. Control the little things.”

The other factor was getting him caught up to the fastball and working on timing. Both De La Cruz and Stassi mentioned that was the main mechanical focus.

Carlos De La Cruz has yet to reach Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but he has one goal: “to get to Philly.” If he continues his hot stretch, the 24-year-old outfielder could find an MLB field sooner rather than later.

Photo by Alec Kostival