All through the illustrious historical past of the Cincinnati Reds franchise, quite a few Latinos have made important contributions to the success of the membership.
PAST—The primary notable Cuban standout was pitcher Dolf Luque, who pitched for the Reds from 1918-1929. In 1967, he additionally grew to become the primary Latino inducted into the Reds Corridor of Fame.
Luque was not solely the primary Latino pitcher in MLB, however he was additionally the primary to choose up a World Sequence victory, and the primary to guide the league in wins and shutouts.
In 1981, shortstop Leo Cardenas was inducted into the Reds Corridor of Fame, following a stellar profession with the Reds from 1960-1968.
His breakout season got here in 1962, when Cardenas had a career-high 173 hits whereas batting .294. In 1966, he grew to become the primary Reds shortstop to hit 20 house runs in a season.
Cardenas was named an All-Star 4 occasions whereas a Pink and was a Gold Glove winner in 1965.
The subsequent Latino to be chosen to the Reds Corridor of Fame was one of the vital fashionable and productive gamers within the historical past of the staff.
In 1998, Tony Perez grew to become a Reds Corridor of Famer, and in 2000, the native Cuban grew to become the primary former Reds Latino participant inducted into the Nationwide Baseball Corridor of Fame.
Perez hit 287 house runs and drove in 1,192 in a Reds uniform in a profession that spanned 16 years in Cincinnati. He led the Reds to the World Sequence in 1970 when he posted profession highs with 40 house runs and 129 runs batted in. Often known as the final word clutch performer, Perez was additionally a member of the Large Pink Machine groups that gained back-to-back world titles in 1975 and 1976.
Dave Concepcion was additionally a member of these groups, and the Venezuelan was inducted in 2000, and on this author’s opinion, belongs in Cooperstown as properly.
He performed his total profession as a Pink from 1970-1988, and completed with 2,326 hits, 993 runs and 321 stolen bases.
Mario Soto was inducted in 2001, and the Dominican pitched for Reds from 1977-1988. His total profession was spent in a Cincinnati uniform, and regardless of being a member of some unhealthy groups within the 80’s, he gained 100 video games whereas battling important accidents all through his profession.
Recognized for his superior change-up, Soto additionally had 72 full video games and 1,449 strikeouts in 1,730 1/3 innings throughout his profession.
One other excellent Dominican pitcher joined Soto within the Reds Corridor of Fame in 2005, when Jose Rijo was inducted.
Rijo started his profession in New York as an 18-year-old phenom for the Yankees, however loved his most success in Cincinnati.
The 1990 World Sequence MVP after profitable a pair of video games and main the Reds to their sweep of Oakland, Rijo was 97-61 as a Pink with a 2.83 ERA.
Cesar Geronimo, the standout defensive centerfielder on the Large Pink Machine groups, was inducted in 2008, and performed for the Reds from 1972-1980. The four-time Gold Glover was additionally a local of the Dominican Republic
Geronimo was neglected offensively on these hard-hitting Reds groups, however he hit a decent .261 with 869 hits whereas a Pink.
One of many Reds all-time characters, Pedro Borbon, was inducted in 2010, and the rubber-armed reliever pitched for the Reds from 1970-1979.
The Dominican righthander was 62-33 with a 3.52 ERA and 80 saves as a Pink. He had a number of excellent seasons, however his greatest was in 1973, when he went 11-4 with a 2.16 ERA whereas showing in 80 video games.
PRESENT—You might or might not acknowledge the names Richard Jimenez and Emmanuel Cartegna.
However all people who follows Main League Baseball is aware of this identify: Elly Antonio De La Cruz.
The Cincinnati Reds shortstop-third baseman has taken the baseball world by storm together with his electrifying type of play, because the Reds referred to as him up on June 6.
At occasions, his play is different worldly, particularly his blazing velocity on the bottom paths, his rocket arm and his presence on the plate, the place he possesses an incredible eye to go together with his energy stroke.
A part of the De La Cruz rising legend can also be the enjoyment he shows on the sphere, the place the 6-foot-5, 21-year-old performs the sport with unbridled ardour.
That has been realized in a brief period of time; as of this writing, EDLC has performed in simply 40 video games.
In latest weeks, his batting common has declined since pitchers have proven him extra respect and pitched him extra rigorously.
Elly additionally must make contact extra persistently and reduce down on his strikeouts, however he did hit a house run in Sunday’s sport, and perhaps he’s about to go on a sizzling streak. There isn’t a higher time than the current, because the Reds head to Milwaukee for 3 video games.
There’s completely no query that the potential he possesses is thru the roof. De La Cruz is already a scholar of the sport and he has the will to meet the expectations being thrown at him early in his profession.
Getting again to the 2 names within the first paragraph of this diatribe, Reds followers must be perpetually grateful for the abilities of Jimenez and Cartegna.
In 2018, Jimenez was serving because the Reds Dominican Scouting Coordinator, and he together with Cartegna, the director of Caribbean scouting for the Reds, have been taking a look at one other prospect within the Dominican Republic, when a thin 6-foot, 130-lb. 16-year-old caught their eye.
The longtime baseball scouts have been intrigued by the uncooked instruments the teenager displayed and after checking him out additional, finally signed De La Cruz for the modest (by worldwide baseball requirements) quantity of $65,000. He matured over the following couple of years and shortly moved up via the Reds farm system.
EDLC loved a breakout season in 2022, hitting .303 with 20 house runs, 52 RBI and 28 stolen bases in 74 video games at Excessive-A Dayton, earlier than being promoted to Class AA Chattanooga. In 47 video games for the Lookouts, De la Cruz hit .305 and hit eight homers, to go together with 34 RBI and 19 steals.
He impressed the Reds in spring coaching earlier than being sidelined by a left hamstring pressure on March 18. He returned in April and performed 38 video games for Louisville, the Reds’ AAA affiliate. After a sluggish begin with the Bats, EDLC went on a tear and lifted his numbers to a .298 batting
common, together with 12 house runs, 36 RBI and swiped 11 bases.
Since being recalled on June 6, De La Cruz has loved memorable second after memorable second in Cincinnati, connecting for his first profession lengthy ball that just about landed within the Ohio River, hitting for the cycle, stealing second, third and residential on two pitches, and throwing out base runners with ease at near 100 miles per hour.
There actually isn’t any manner of figuring out simply what De la Cruz will accomplish in what must be a protracted, profitable baseball profession, however bear in mind to thank a few eagle-eyed scouts who noticed that potential 5 years in the past within the Dominican Republic.
De La Cruz and lockdown nearer Alexis Diaz are simply the newest Latin-Individuals who’ve loved success as Cincinnati Reds.
Diaz, who hails from Humacao, Puerto Rico, has been an integral a part of the Reds turnaround season.
As of this writing, the lone Pink named to the All-Star staff has 29 saves in 30 probabilities, and he’s fanned 67 in 44 2/3 innings. Diaz is 3-1 with a 2.01 earned run common in 46 video games.
FUTURE—Predicting the longer term is an unattainable proposition, however there are a number of promising Latino prospects enjoying within the Reds farm system.
The participant closest to showing within the huge leagues is Dominican shortstop-third baseman Noelvi Marte.
The 21-year-old was recalled from Double-A Chattanooga to Triple-A Louisville just lately, and since becoming a member of the Bats, he’s hitting .324 in 17 video games. Marte was a part of the commerce that despatched Luis Castillo to Seattle, a commerce that additionally landed the Reds pitchers Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore, together with shortstop Edwin Arroyo.
Arroyo, who will flip 20 years previous subsequent month, is a fast, slick fielder with a world of potential. The Puerto Rican is at present enjoying at Excessive-A Dayton.
In the newest worldwide signings in January, the Reds’ high three choices of the 14 gamers taken are every simply 17 years previous. They embody power-hitting catcher Alfredo Duno from Venezuela, Dominican shortstop Alfredo Alcantara and Venezuelan shortstop Rafhlmil Torres.
HITTING THE ROAD—Getting again to the present Reds for a second:
Following a 5-5 homestand, the Reds flew to Milwaukee Sunday night to start an necessary 10-game highway journey.
The Brewers have been the membership’s main nemesis this season, in addition to the opposite high contender within the race for the NL Central title. Within the 10 earlier conferences between the 2, the Reds have gained simply two video games and Reds followers are hoping for a reversal of fortune in opposition to the Brew Crew.
Since that is being written earlier than the Milwaukee sequence, we’ll have extra to say about that and the remainder of the highway journey in our subsequent column.
NOT SO FAST—I used to be fallacious.
I do know. Surprising, proper?
Within the final column, I said that the Reds would most probably must win the division to have hopes of going to the postseason.
They may nonetheless qualify as a Wild Card staff, however that race is tightly bunched in the meanwhile, with 5 groups going backwards and forwards within the race every day.
As of this second, the Reds are main Arizona by a half-game, and the Phillies, Giants and Marlins by one sport apiece.
That race seems to be taking place to the wire, and the battle for the NL Central might as properly.
“It’s higher to deserve honors and never have them, than to have them and never deserve them.”—Mark Twain
“Greater than every other American sport, baseball creates the magnetic, addictive phantasm that it may well virtually be understood.”—Tom Boswell, famend baseball creator