Ely Sussman has a new favorite Marlins position player: rookie outfielder Bryan De La Cruz. This episode breaks down his legitimacy and predicts what his stat line could look like by the end of 2021.
Enjoy Episode 133!
De La Cruz enters Friday with a superb .355/.391/.471 slash line and 136 wRC+ through his first 25 MLB games. His .385 batting average during August is third-best in the majors! The strongest aspect of DLC’s game is actually his fielding—both live looks and advanced metrics agree on that (5 Defensive Runs Saved and 2 Outs Above Average while playing each of the three outfield positions). The former Astros farmhand has a compelling case for winning National League Rookie of the Month honors.
So many of De La Cruz’s individual contributions have gone to waste, largely due to his placement in the bottom third of the batting order. Marlins teammates have driven him in only three times. The MLB average run scoring percentage this season is 31%, according to Baseball-Reference; his is 9% (extremely low even by Marlins standards).
His luck on balls in play is not sustainable, of course. My best guess is that De La Cruz’s final 2021 slash line will be .292/.335/.430.
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