Elly De La Cruz shows power/speed combo with 450-foot HR and inside-the-park HR

Elly De La Cruz entered Monday with zero home runs on the season. He exited with two, and they were worth the wait.

The Cincinnati Reds shortstop showed both his elite power and his elite speed with a pair of homers in a 10-8 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. The first arrived in the fifth inning, when the 22-year-old crushed a JB Bukauskas fastball to the batter's eye.

Statcast measured that homer as traveling a projected 450 feet, with an exit velocity of 112.3 mph, tied for the fourth-longest homer of the young season.

That could be the wildest hit of the day for any player. But De La Cruz one-upped it the seventh by turning on the jets for an inside-the-park home run (video above).

Granted, the homer was possible only because of a missed diving catch by Brewers center fielder Sal Frelick (rare is the inside-the-park homer without a mistake by an outfielder), but De La Cruz certainly earned it with a trip around the basepaths measured at only 14.96 seconds.

De La Cruz averaged the fastest sprint speed in MLB last season, and it appears that he has a good chance to keep that title, hitting 30.1 feet per second on that run.

CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 08: Elly De La Cruz #44 of the Cincinnati Reds scores on a ground out hit by Santiago Espinal #4 during the second inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park on April 08, 2024 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jeff Dean/Getty Images)
There aren't many players who can hit a ball 450 feet and run around the basepaths in less than 15 seconds. Elly De La Cruz is one of them. (Photo by Jeff Dean/Getty Images)

De La Cruz finished the game 3-for-4 with four runs, three RBI and a stolen base. OptaStats noted that he is the first MLB player to post the incredibly specific combination of a home run on both sides of the plate, an over-the-fence homer and an inside-the-park homer, four runs scored and a stolen base.

That's the kind of stuff De La Cruz can do, with few other equivalents. He entered MLB as a top prospect thanks to a near-unprecedented combination of strength and speed at 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, while playing the demanding position of shortstop. His 34.7% career strikeout rate has so far limited his ceiling, but many will accept that if he continues to produce nights like Monday.

De La Cruz is hitting .297/.366/.595 through 10 games and 41 plate appearances this season. The Reds improved their record to 6-4 with the win Monday.