2011 Dodgers Player Profile: Ivan DeJesus

Ivan DeJesus
Birthdate - 05/1/1987
Height / Weight - 5'11 190
Bats / Throws - R/R
2nd round of the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft.

Before Ivan broke his leg during spring training almost two years to the day,   Ivan looked to be on pace to be part of the Dodger infield by 2010. We are now headed for 2011 with DeJesus a dark horse to make the team.  In 2008 Ivan put up an offensive year for the same team in the same league that I'd have been thrilled with from Dee Gordon in 2010.  This was DeJesus's skill set after 2008:

  • Solid defensive skills for a SS
  • Plus patience (.419 OB as a 21 year old in AA, 13.6 BB Rate)
  • Played AA as a 21 year old
  • Rated the 2nd best Dodger prospect by Baseball Prospectus

Two years later

  • Moved from SS to 2B, range and ability to turn the deuce are in question
  • Lost his plate discipline (.335 OBP, 5.5 BB rate)
  • Little power for having played in one of the best offensive home stadiums
  • Played AAA as a 23 year old
  • Baseball prospectus didn't even rank DeJesus among their top 20 Dodger Prospects

Losing that whole season not only set back his timetable but the injury was severe enough that in the short term it has impacted his previous skill set.  Unable to show the range to be a shortstop he is now a second baseman, and defense continues to be a worry. It has been two years since he badly broke his leg, so he should be as good as he is ever going to be athletically.  

I used to think DeJesus could be our second baseman, his 21-year old AA season had plenty of things to like, but his 2010 season gave me little to hang my hat on. As expected he started out slow, but it took two months before he started hitting, once he got started he put up a .333/.370/.481 line in July but then fell back in August. He could simply have been tired.

Once the AAA 2010 season was over, DeJesus was not called up for a September look which some took to think he was no longer in the Dodger plans. He was however sent to the AFL where he hit the ball strongly impressing Don Mattingly enough that when Don was asked who could help in 2011 from the players he managed in the AFL, he mentioned DeJesus first, so take that for what it might be worth.

Contract Status

Never been on the major league roster. DeJesus has two options remaining.

Stats

Year Level Age AB Hits
Dbls
HR BA OBP SLG
wOBA
2008 AA 21 463 150 21 .7 .324 .419 .423 .371
2009 missed 22
2010 AAA 23 533 158 33 7 .296 .335 .405 .322

Trivia

His Dad was involved in two very significant trades. The first one:

January 11, 1977: Traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers with Jeff Albert (minors) and Bill Buckner to the Chicago Cubs for Mike Garman and Rick Monday.

Brought the Dodgers  Rick Monday who would go onto have a solid Dodger career including hitting one of the most important home runs ever hit in Post Season play.

The Second One:

January 27, 1982: Traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Philadelphia Phillies for Larry Bowa and Ryne Sandberg.

Gave the Cubs their HOF second baseman, the 22 year old Ryne Sandberg would be a MVP just two years later. Maybe one of the worst trades in all the 80's.

The Cubs were so thankful to DeJesus that they made him a 1st base coach forever.

2011 Outlook

No one seems to like Ivan DeJesus as anything more then a utility infielder,  and the Dodgers have Castro / Miles in camp, along with Sellers. Ned said yesterday that DeJesus was competing against Castro and Sellers for the utility infielder spot on the team.  If he does not make the team out of spring training, he'll probably see some time during the year because of various injuries, and should definitely  be on the Dodgers roster at some in 2011.

One thing to note, that when Ned has been asked about signing Uribe to a three year deal he has mentioned several times that the Dodgers have shortstops in the system but no second or third baseman in the system. DeJesus is a second baseman, so one might infer, that Ned does not think very highly of Ivan DeJesus's ability to be a starting second baseman.

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