Dayton, Ohio—Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) today announced its official 2022 Midwest League Full-Season All-Star Team and player awards, and Dayton Dragons shortstop Elly De La Cruz received a pair of big honors. De La Cruz was named the league’s “Top MLB Prospect” and was also named as the MWL’s all-star
Dayton, Ohio—Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) today announced its official 2022 Midwest League Full-Season All-Star Team and player awards, and Dayton Dragons shortstop Elly De La Cruz received a pair of big honors. De La Cruz was named the league’s “Top MLB Prospect” and was also named as the MWL’s all-star shortstop for the season (one player selected per position).
De La Cruz became the first Dragons player to earn the top prospect award since the club’s inaugural season of 2000, when Dayton outfielder Austin Kearns shared the honor with Peoria’s Albert Pujols. De La Cruz becomes the first Dayton player to earn the award without a co-winner.
De La Cruz also becomes the first Dayton full-season all-star shortstop since Billy Hamilton in 2011, and just the fourth in Dragons history. Chris Valaika in 2007 and Zack Cozart in 2008 were also MWL full-season all-star shortstops. De La Cruz is the 22nd player in Dragons history to be named to the full-season all-star team, joining a list that also includes Wily Mo Pena, Edwin Encarnacion, Jay Bruce, Justin Turner, Tyler Mahle, and Jose Siri among others.
The awards were chosen in a vote by Midwest League managers. Midwest League broadcasters served as the nominating group for the voting process, selecting the names on the ballot.
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De La Cruz spent the majority of the 2022 season with the Dragons and was previously selected as Cincinnati Reds 2022 Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America. The Reds will announce their own official 2022 Minor League player awards at RedsFest in December, including the Sheldon “Chief” Bender Player of the Year, Hitter of the Year, and Pitcher of the Year.
With the Dragons in 2022, De La Cruz was one of the youngest players in the Midwest League. He played in 72 games with the Dragons and batted .302 with 20 home runs. He finished just one home run short of the league lead despite being promoted to Double-A Chattanooga with about seven weeks to play in the season.
De La Cruz became the first player in Dragons history and first Midwest League player since 1999 (Corey Patterson, Lansing) to hit at least .300 with at least 20 home runs and at least 25 stolen bases.
Including his time this summer with Chattanooga after he was promoted from the Dragons in late-July, De La Cruz became the first player anywhere in Minor League Baseball to hit at least 25 home runs, steal at least 40 bases, and hit at least .300 in a season since George Springer in 2013.
In a late-season Baseball America survey of Midwest League managers, De La Cruz was named the league’s “Most Exciting Player,” “Best Batting Prospect,” “Best Power Prospect,” and “Fastest Baserunner.”
Dayton Dragons 2023 season tickets packages are available now, and all packages include an Elly De La Cruz bobblehead. Package plans are available for full-season (66 games), half-season (33 games), 16 games, or eight games. Dragons 2023 season ticket packages include many new benefits including membership in the Dragons Business Club or Family Club, and gift card. Packages also include a return of benefits enjoyed by 2022 season tickets holders, all with no price increase from last season. For more information, call (937) 228-2287 or go to daytondragons.com/tickets.
More Information:_ The Dayton Dragons are the affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and play a 66-game home schedule at beautiful Day Air Ballpark_ in the heart of the Water Street District. Deposits on 2023 season tickets are being accepted now. For information about season tickets including the new Business Club and Family Club, contact the Dragons by calling at (937) 228-2287, emailing at [email protected], or go to daytondragons.com. Information is also available regarding group tickets, lawn tickets, sponsorship opportunities or booking a Dragons speaker.