I don't hear or see much hype for Bryan De La Cruz in 2023. It appears that the LF is just completely ignored and overlooked. I can't imagine how that's even possible, other than people are stuck on the Miami Marlins not having a good offense in 2022. This likely allowed Bryan to basically break out under the radar and not be noticed as a break-out star that he was in the latter half of the 2022 season.
Bryan De la Cruz broke out in 2022 and he was legit. There's no question about that. He batted .310/.342/.535 in that second half of 2022 and ended up moving up to batting third in the batting order. He also improved his Exit Velocity in general from 88.4 in 2021 to 90.8 in 2022. It was a big improvement for De La Cruz and he might take further steps forward in 2023. He is only 26 years old, so there's no reason to think that he can't improve further.
Does he have any track record at all to show that he can? Yes! He batted .289/.367/.375 in 2018 with the Houston Astros A and A+ Minor League teams in 119 games and 419 AB. In 2019 he followed that up with a .280/.340/.428 batting line with the Houston Astros A+ and AA Minor League teams in 105 games and 432 AB. After missing the 2020 season as all Minor Leaguers did due to the pandemic, he batted .324/.362/.518 in 66 games and 272 AB with the Houston Astros AAA Minor League team.
He was great for the Miami Marlins AAA Minor League team in 2021 as well. He batted .320/.370/.620 13 games and 50 AB. It's obvious that he was great in the Minor Leagues and it's finally carrying over to the Major Leagues. So what's with this lack of belief in him? Fangraphs doesn't rate him highly and neither do many analysts. What does Bryan De La Cruz have to do to prove them wrong? Well, he's been batting high up in the batting order so far in Spring Training, and he hasn't been struggling.
Bryan De La Cruz deserves more hype and he will prove a lot of people wrong with a big 2023 season.