Reds star Ellie de la Cruz on first production entirely in English: ‘It’s very important to me’

Ellie de la Cruz (Photo by Emily Chin/Cincinnati Reds/Getty Images)

cincinnati reds Infielder Elly De La Cruz’s 2024 season hasn’t started yet, but he’s already achieved a milestone.

At Wednesday’s news conference, the 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic spoke entirely in English for the first time.

De La Cruz, whose native language is Spanish, communicated with fans through a translator as a rookie last season, and now he hopes to communicate directly with fans.

“It’s very important to me because now you understand what I’m saying, the fans understand me and I understand the fans, and that’s important,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of English in order to talk to you. effort.” “

He added with a laugh that he thought he was doing a good job and it was hard to disagree.According to statistics, by 2023, 20% of Americans will be able to speak two or more languages U.S. Census Bureau. De La Cruz has managed to add another language to his arsenal while becoming one of the most exciting players to play baseball at the highest levels in the United States and Canada.

When asked about his process, he seemed simple:

“I train every day and talk to other players,” he said of his teammates. “I just start training with them and then let it go. I love talking to American players because it creates confidence.”

Dela Cruz had a good time when a reporter joked that translator Jorge Melos was no longer editing.

“I don’t need Jorge anymore,” he said with a laugh. When Melos joked he would leave, De La Cruz laughed: “He helped me a lot.”

Melos has been with the Reds Community Fund since 2016 when he was hired as an intern at the organization. He took on the role of translator for players in 2020. In addition to working with De La Cruz, he can also be seen translating for the entire team. Star relief pitcher Alexis Diaz.

Los Angeles Dodgers Star Shohei Ohtanitranslator Last week, Ippei Suwon was fired after being accused of “large-scale theft”.

Reds head coach David Bell said De La Cruz’s struggle to learn English is just an example of his character:

“He’s very thoughtful. He’s humble, the way he listens and learns,” Bell said explain“It’s amazing. I can’t understand it. It takes courage and he’s respected. It’s impressive.”

This courage is not surprising; The Reds call themselves “Team America” Last season, that nickname was bolstered by the team’s overall confidence, with De La Cruz at the center of it.

He has been providing highlights from his time with the Reds He was called up from Triple-A Louisville last June. The 6-foot-5 talent made an impact quickly, Erased the Reds’ worst at-bat in years, hit his first home run in the profession.

De La Cruz hit .235 last season with 13 home runs, 67 runs and 35 stolen bases in 98 games as a rookie.

He and the Red Army will face washington nationals Opening Day Thursday at Great American Ball Park.

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