First and Foremost
Carlos De La Cruz is an outfielder, but I saw him play first base, and it would be great to push him to move there.
The Phillies' new #9 prospect jumped from unknown to Top 10 prospect in the Phillies Pharm System quickly, and Phillies Phans should be hyped about it.
The 6'8 outfielder truly can hit and has developed into a formidable piece of the Phillies system for the future. De La Cruz hails from New York, where he attended the same high school as Manny Ramirez.
What to Expect?
De La Cruz batted from High-A to Double-A: .271 BA, .333 OBP, .482 SLG, and .815 OPS, with 17 HR and 41 RBIs.
The New York native has the potential to build out his towering frame to be an elite outfielder or possibly a great First Baseman.
His size is comparable to Aaron Judge, but can he back it up with power? De La Cruz showed some pop and went yard this Spring Training in the clip below.
Carlos De La Cruz adds a home run for the #Phillies— NL East Updates (@NLEastUpdates) February 25, 2023
He was not perfect, but his time in the minors and rise to becoming the 9th best prospect in 2023 indicate more to come.
Carlos De La Cruz and Phillies Prospect Tommy McCollum took home awards for best minor league standouts in camp.
Phillies: RT @PhilsPlayerDev: Congratulations to RHP Tommy McCollum (@TommyMccollum) and OF Carlos De La Cruz on receiving the Bill Giles and Larry Rojas Awards, which are given to minor league Spring Training standouts! pic.twitter.com/ncJkoyAddN— Nicholas Lunetta (@NicholasLunetta) March 26, 2023
Carlos De La Cruz should be considered somewhat of a late bloomer. He is 24 and likely will not debut for another year or two if he continues to trend upwards. However, he does have the potential to move from outfield to first base if necessary.
He rotated to first base during spring a few times, which may indicate the organization is looking to switch his positions. Currently, the Phillies' outfield depth is pretty deep, especially with the acquisition of Cristian Pache. The likes of Brandon Marsh, Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, Dalton Guthrie, and, inevitably, Bryce Harper will not be going anywhere soon.
The Phillies might consider moving him to first in for a forthcoming debut in a few years.
The situation is this: Rhys Hoskins went down with a torn ACL, Darick Hall may or may not pan out, and the Phillies are likely focusing their checkbooks on the impending Aaron Nola signing.
Hoskins's outlook on returning seems thin, especially since he cannot prove himself in a contract year. As of March 30th, 2023, Hoskins underwent surgery, but the prognosis says 7-9 months of recovery, which would put him precisely outside the playoff window.
Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins underwent successful left knee anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery with Dr. Steve Singleton today in Fort Worth, TX. The timeline for recovery is seven to nine months.— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) March 31, 2023
Overall, this may leave the door open for Carlos De La Cruz to make his jump to The Show. Hopefully, De La Cruz will make that jump in power and contact that can match his defense in the next few years. The goal for any minor leaguer is to make it to the big leagues no matter where you play.
The path might not be clear yet, but Carlos De La Cruz could become a significant asset going forward for the Phillies.
What position will Carlos De La Cruz Play when he is promoted?
When will De La Cruz make his MLB Debut?