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Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz stole four bases in a 7-2 Reds win Thursday night in Dodger Stadium. Here's a look at stolen base No. 4 on the night, as he took third against a team that is usually one of the best at preventing stolen bases (teams were previously 24 of 35 against the Dodgers while the league average was 32 of 41). 

He later attempted a fifth steal, but was caught. As noted, the Dodgers are good at that. 

The record for stolen bases in a game is six and there have been 28 cases in history where a player stole five. Still, racking up four in one game is pretty impressive. We've grown accustomed in less than a year to seeing De La Cruz do things that are pretty impressive and that's an understatement. 

Well on his way to superstardom after being a sensation last season as a rookie, he's hitting .271/.372/.510 with eight doubles, a triple, nine homers, 22 RBI and 35 runs in 44 games. The runs scored pace alone is worth a look, but let's circle back to the stolen bases. 

De La Cruz now has 30 stolen bases in 35 attempts. It's true that stolen bases are up again this season due in part to the rules implemented before the 2023 season, but no one else in the majors has more than 17 steals. Only seven players have more than 11. De La Cruz is lapping the field. And, in fact, he alone has more stolen bases than 18 of the 30 MLB teams so far this season. 

The only players to ever steal 30 bases in their first 44 games of a season are Rickey Henderson (three times), Kenny Lofton, Vince Coleman, Tim Raines and Lou Brock, according to Sarah Langs. Basically, De La Cruz is already in company with the greatest base stealers of all-time here, but there's more worth watching as the season moves forward. 

I'm sure many still roll their eyes at "pace" numbers early in the season, but we're just past one quarter of the way through the season. It's not like this is April 15. De La Cruz is on pace to swipe roughly 110 bags this season. Now, he's played every game so far, so this pace assumes he'll play every single game all season and that likely won't happen. 

Still, there's a cushion in there to allow for some games on the bench. 

In the modern era (1900-present), there have only been 14 individual seasons with at least 90 steals. All but four came in the 1980s; Lou Brock, Ty Cobb and Maury Willis, twice, did it before the '80s and we haven't seen any since (who else?) Rickey Henderson stole 93 in 1988.

The century mark is the big number, though, right? We haven't seen a player get there since Vince Coleman stole 109 bases in 1987. It has only happened eight times in the modern era. 




Stolen bases

Rickey Henderson




Lou Brock




Vince Coleman




Vince Coleman




Rickey Henderson




Vince Coleman




Maury Wills




Rickey Henderson




Only four players in modern MLB history have ever stolen 100 bases in a season and six of the eight seasons where a player got there happened in such a condensed period of time. To see one now would be amazing. 

De La Cruz is in a good situation to keep piling up the bags, too. First off, the climate for stolen bases got much better with the rule changes -- including the slightly bigger bases -- before last season. Secondly, he's playing for a team that has been struggling to score runs, providing more incentive to let him loose on the bases. The on-base percentage is very good and now that he's hitting second, after starting the season in six-hole, he'll get a lot of plate appearances. And, of course, there's the high success rate. At almost 86%, he's stealing bases at a higher rate of success than Henderson did in his three 100-steal seasons. 

Finally, and this is the most fun part: De La Cruz can pile up the steals in a short span. He already has eight multi-steal games this season and stole three bases twice (April 19 and April 24) before this four-SB night. Just over a week ago, he had three straight games with two stolen bases apiece. 

The Reds' single-season record for stolen bases in the modern era is Bob Bescher, who stole 81 in 1911 while Eric Davis swiped 80 in 1986. As long as De La Cruz can avoid injury (please, please, please avoid injury), setting the club record should be child's play.

 Let's keep our eyes on the century mark.