Bryan De La Cruz is raking for the Miami Marlins lately! After hitting .209/.257/.353 in the first half, he’s hitting .306/.336/.537 in the second. We have an issue with centerfield and it appears that we now have a solution. Considering how bad our offense is right now, this is great news and the only question is whether he is legitimately this good and that it isn’t a fluke. So is he the answer or is this just a mirage of a solution?
Bryan De La Cruz appears to be breaking out as a star for The Fish.
Bryan De La Cruz quietly had . He batted .296/.356/.427 in 113 games and 321 AB with 5 home runs and 19 RBI. Perhaps strangely that was overlooked, possibly because of an 88.4 Exit Velocity and lack of hype surrounding him. This season Bryan improved his Exit Velocity to 90.7.
Bryan De La Cruz is 25 years old so he’s not yet in his prime, and he might actually improve even further next season. If he improves his Exit Velocity further, he might be a legitimate 30 home run threat! He’s already a good contact hitter but needs to improve his walk percentage to get on base more often and raise his OBP in the process.
What about his defense? The Miami Marlins need a centerfielder, and while he may be a good hitter, he can hit from a corner outfield position or the designated hitter spot, we need a good defender in centerfield. De La Cruz’s dWAR is -0.2 which is pretty bad. Does this mean that he isn’t a fit? Not quite. -0.2 is only slightly below average, and it was 0.1 last season. There’s few good centerfield options in free agency and by trade, so it makes sense to just give him a chance at improving.
I think that the best thing for us to do is to give Bryan De La Cruz a legitimate shot at starting next season. He’s too young to be a DH, so he needs to play in the outfield. The Miami Marlins should give him a chance to be our centerfielder next season, unless we can acquire an elite defender at the position instead. In the case of the latter, he should start in RF or LF.