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March 2012

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COMMENTS

David DeJesus: A Diamond in the Rough?

Written by , Posted in General

This off-season, the first move made by the new regime, was to sign free agent outfielder, David DeJesus. It wasn’t an overly sexy move, unless you ask his wife, but it was a move that essentially sealed the fate of Tyler Colvin with the organization. Just under two weeks later, Colvin would be dealt to the Rockies.

On November 30, 2011, DeJesus signed a two-year deal worth $10 million, to be the primary right fielder for the Cubs

What we’re left with is a new face playing a position he has the least experience playing of all the spots in the outfield. You can imagine why the move was less than impressive for Cub fans who immediately expected the top talent on the market be brought in when Theo took over. What they’ve been given is a player who doesn’t fit that mold, but does that mean he can’t play a role?

Where did he come from? – DeJesus was originally drafted in the 43rd round of the 1997 draft by the Mets only to elect to go to Rutgers. Three years later he would be drafted again by the Royals in the 4th round. He spent the first nine years of his career in the Royals organization before being traded to the A’s last season where he was a tad underwhelming.

What can we expect? – Being over 3o and coming off a career low year in Oakland, some would say that the signing was a bad one. However, when we throw out the year with Oakland and look at his overall time with the Royals we see a guy that can play a good defensive outfield and be competent in the top of the order. In his career as a leadoff hitter, DeJesus has a split line of .292 / .365 / .437. He doesn’t steal a ton of bases, in fact he rarely steals, but he doesn’t make outs on the bases. He’s the type of player that seems to fit the mold of a player coveted by Theo and his crew. He sees pitches (3.95 Pit/PA in 2010 compared to the league average of 3.78) and makes above average contact when he does swing.

Ultimately, the prognostications on DeJesus tend to call for about 10-12 HR, with an average in the low .270’s, an on base % in the .340’s and slugging right around .400. It’s not overwhelming, but I believe we can see better. Be sure to follow her on Twitter @KimDeJesus9

Now that we’ve established what we expect, let’s dial it back a notch and give you a little different perspective. David’s wife, Kim, was kind enough to open the door to the more personal side of DeJesus with a small writeup about her husband:

If I were to describe Dave to someone the first thing that comes to mind is his positive attitude. He is hands down the most positive person I have ever met. I guarantee you will see him smiling most of the time. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who could say a bad word about him or his hard work ethic. When I first met him I didn’t believe someone could be that happy all the time. He just does not complain and I am always impressed with how he wakes up with a smile on his face. Dave has this really refreshing view on life and is truly enjoying this journey he’s been given. He is my constant reminder to try to keep things in perspective. Dave also has a strong and beautiful faith and is totally devoted to our family. He is an amazing father and our son adores his every move. Kids in general gravitate towards Dave and I think it is because in many ways he is a kid at heart. He just accepts kids for who they are and relates to them on their level. Obviously there are a lot of wonderful things I could say about Dave because he is my husband, but when you asked for a glimpse of who he is, these are just some of things that come to mind. He’s also the type of person that lets his actions speak, rather than words. so I’m not sure how he’ll feel about me writing all this 😉

For as nice as Dave is, he has this crazy competitive side. I know he will never admit to you that I have beat him in H.O.R.S.E, but its true! He won’t even play me anymore because he hates to lose. However, I kind of beat everyone in H.O.R.S.E, so don’t hold it against him because I would probably beat you too! Haha 😉 Dave is obsessed with the Buffalo Bills and it’s hilarious to watch him get into the games. He is a Jersey boy at heart and he is actually a pretty good dancer. He has zero shame about busting into a song or dance. If he wasn’t a baseball player, it would not surprise me if he was in a boy band! 🙂

I am so thankful for all the amazing years and wonderful experiences Dave had with the Royals, and last year with the A’s. Looking forward, we are so excited about this incredible new chapter with the Chicago Cubs! Dave already loves his new teammates, and is so impressed with the organization and staff, and the fans have been great. Of course, I am so proud of my husband no matter what team he is on, but to be playing at home is amazing! I can’t wait to get to Wrigley 🙂

  • BLPCB

    Nice narrative from the wife, but another one of those spring training cliches

  • AC0000000

    Nice narrative from the wife, but another one of those spring training cliches

  • AC0000000

    Btw – how is everyone’s bracket looking? I have 3 sweet 16 picks wrong, hook g to have at least 2 elite 8 picks wrong. Are we going to do a 2nd chance bracket? Yahoo does one every year after you’ve been destroyed by the first 2 rounds.

    • Joe Aiello

      You should be able to find me in the VFTB. Start at the top so as to save yourself some time.

      • AC0000000

        I’m 2nd. But I am asking are we going to do a 2nd chance bracket?

      • Joe Aiello

        Don’t even know what that is. lizzie organized it. My guess is no.

  • Chuck

    DeJesus is an above-average player.  He gets on base.  Hits for a decent average.  Is not a lump of dung on defense.  He should probably hit leadoff for the Cubs because his career .350 OBP is one of the better ones on the team while he lacks the power to be a 3-5 hitter.
    Not a star.  Does not suck.  Sums up the 2012 Cubs.  Welcome to 70 wins!

  • Chuck

    DeJesus is an above-average player.  He gets on base.  Hits for a decent average.  Is not a lump of dung on defense.  He should probably hit leadoff for the Cubs because his career .350 OBP is one of the better ones on the team while he lacks the power to be a 3-5 hitter.
    Not a star.  Does not suck.  Sums up the 2012 Cubs.  Welcome to 70 wins!

  • Gymjok

    I’d take the over on low 270’s/340’s.
    Base running- I think we’ll see him on the front end of a lot of hit and runs.

    • Chuck

      I’ll take the over on those numbers as well.

      • Buddy

        Me three. 

  • Gymjok

    I’d take the over on low 270’s/340’s.
    Base running- I think we’ll see him on the front end of a lot of hit and runs.

    • Chuck

      I’ll take the over on those numbers as well.

      • Buddy

        Me three. 

  • cap’n obvious

    not a significant upgrade over Reed Johnson.

    • Jedi

      Right on cap’n, he’s Reed Johnson from the other side of the plate for $4mil more per year.

    • Gymjok

      Different animal. Johnson is a part time player. I doubt he puts up his same numbers if he’s full time.

    • Buddy

      With all due respect to Mr. Johnson, they’re not even in the same universe vs. RHP. Here are their career numbers:

      DeJesus–.292/.368/.447
      Johnson– .266/.324/.383

       

      • Jedi

        Nor are they against LHP:

        Johnson – .311/.369/.464
        DeJesus – .264/.328/.362

        They are near mirror images of one another.

      • Buddy

        Except that major league hitters face way more RHP than LHP. So, guys who hit RHP are much more valuable, in my humble opinion. 

      • cap’n obvious

        I think you are right here, with the exception that spot lefties are called on to face lefties late in games a lot more often than righties.  They make a nice platoon…except that Dejesus makes an awful lot of jack for a platoon player.

      • Norm Bothwell

         Agree buddy…when 75% of the pitching is right handed, a person that hits right handed pitching like DeJesus is 3 times more valuable than a person that hits left handed pitching like Reed.

  • cap’n obvious

    not a significant upgrade over Reed Johnson.

    • Jedi

      Right on cap’n, he’s Reed Johnson from the other side of the plate for $4mil more per year.

    • Gymjok

      Different animal. Johnson is a part time player. I doubt he puts up his same numbers if he’s full time.

    • Buddy

      With all due respect to Mr. Johnson, they’re not even in the same universe vs. RHP. Here are their career numbers:

      DeJesus–.292/.368/.447
      Johnson– .266/.324/.383

       

      • Jedi

        Nor are they against LHP:

        Johnson – .311/.369/.464
        DeJesus – .264/.328/.362

        They are near mirror images of one another.

      • Buddy

        Except that major league hitters face way more RHP than LHP. So, guys who hit RHP are much more valuable, in my humble opinion. 

      • cap’n obvious

        I think you are right here, with the exception that spot lefties are called on to face lefties late in games a lot more often than righties.  They make a nice platoon…except that Dejesus makes an awful lot of jack for a platoon player.

      • Norm Bothwell

         Agree buddy…when 75% of the pitching is right handed, a person that hits right handed pitching like DeJesus is 3 times more valuable than a person that hits left handed pitching like Reed.

  • Doc Raker

    I saw Tyler Colvin take some AB’s with the Rocks yesterday, got a couple of knocks. Colvin looks like he filled out a little bit, put on some muscle- not muscle bound juicer but he didn’t look like a skinny kid anymore like he did these past two years. I hope Colvin does well. Welcome David DeJesus, if you can give the Cubs some positive energy that would be great- a few hits would be good as well.

    • Buddy

      Any early reports on DeJesus’ moxie-gamer-grinder-clutchy-chemistry rating?

      • BLPCB

        What constitutes a high MGGCCR?

  • Doc Raker

    I saw Tyler Colvin take some AB’s with the Rocks yesterday, got a couple of knocks. Colvin looks like he filled out a little bit, put on some muscle- not muscle bound juicer but he didn’t look like a skinny kid anymore like he did these past two years. I hope Colvin does well. Welcome David DeJesus, if you can give the Cubs some positive energy that would be great- a few hits would be good as well.

    • Buddy

      Any early reports on DeJesus’ moxie-gamer-grinder-clutchy-chemistry rating?

      • AC0000000

        What constitutes a high MGGCCR?

  • Anyone have the audio on?  Wood blew a seven run lead…I’m guessing the Shark might end up in the 5-spot.  

    • Seymour Butts

      Just turned it on, Cubs back on top.
      T Wood is now battling for a minor league spot.
      Mather may knock Johnson off the roster…no matter how hard he plays.

      • I just assumed Wood would play hard as well.  

      • Lizzie

        Very reasonable assumption.

      • Doc Raker

        Right over your head Lizzie.

      • Lizzie

        Believe or not I actually got that one Doc. Shocking, I know!

      • Gymjok

        It Wood be a Travis T. if you didn’t get it.

    • Jedi

      Did I miss something? Is Wells out of the running?  It’s always seemed to me that it was Wells and Volstad who had the spots to lose.  They’ve both pitched well in limited duty.

      • Noah_I

        According to what Sveum has said over the past 4 or 5 days, Samardzija would have to just pitch completely terribly or get injured to not have a spot in the rotation on opening day.  And Bosio reportedly really likes Volstad.

        I bet Wells starts the year in Iowa.  Honestly, it probably makes the most sense.  Samardzija does have a plus fastball, so they might as well see if he can get the secondary stuff and command where it needs to be to start in a year they aren’t going to be very good anyways.  And Wells and Wood still have an option left.  Samardzija and Volstad do not.

      • Gymjok

        I still have the feeling Wells may be trade bait.
        Also wondering if Wells to the bullpen is a possibility.

      • Noah_I

        I’m just not sure you’re going to get any value back for Wells at this point, coming off his worst season where he dealt with injury issues.  And, if last year taught us anything, it’s that there is no thing as too much starting pitching depth.  Also, I believe T. Wood is really just incorporating a cutter into his arsenal.  He could use some time in Iowa to work on that, so the Cubs might want someone between one injury and him for a few months.

      • Jedi

        I’d love to see some of this stuff that Sveum’s been saying.  Haven’t heard anything that strong at all.  The Samardzija stuff that I’ve read can almost entirely be traced back to Paul Sullivan, as if he has some vested interest in it (he was ready to make Samardzija a lock after one appearance).

        I still think it’s funny we’re anointing a guy a starter when he’s PROVEN to have problems when he throws more than 30 pitches.  And he has yet to throw more than 4 innings this Spring.  No need to worry about options if you send Samardzija back to the pen where he belongs.

      • Norm Bothwell

         “Obviously, that lock’s getting a little closer and closer to being
        finalized,” Sveum said about Samardzija making the rotation. ”It’s
        impressive and it’s what organizations dream of – a 6-foot-6, 240-pound
        athlete on the mound who has four pitches with velocity. It’s
        impressive, there’s no doubt about it. I don’t think he’s doing anything
        we didn’t expect. The way he finished throwing the ball the last
        season, the mechanical changes he made, the confidence he gained. Now
        it’s just full force right now.”

        Yeah he’s proven to have problems after 30 pitches, does that mean he can’t improve?

      • Jedi

        Which part of Sveum’s statement is optimism and talking Samardzija up and which part is truth?  Because what I see is a manager being bullish on a guy in the media (which is fine, I just don’t see it as indicative of what’s happening behind the scenes).  If Dale really believes that Samardzija has four pitches then he has a terrible eye for talent.

        And for a guy who has proven to pitch terribly after 30 pitches for quite some time, you’ll pardon me if I don’t consider 2 runs in 4 innings of work during his last Spring Training outing marked improvement.  Until he gets stretched out and starts throwing 6-7 innings he’s basically a poor man’s Rich Harden.  I’d rather have a guy who’ll likely throw 180+ innings in 30+ starts than an experiment almost certainly doomed from the start.

      • Norm Bothwell

        Did you just not feel like answering my question:
        “does that mean he can’t improve?”

      • Jedi

        No Norm, amazingly I don’t feel like answering your childish attempts to bait an argument with some imagined deduction.  No one has said Samardzija can’t improve – there are several of us who think he does not posses the makeup of a starter.  Whether it’s a lack of MLB quality pitches, consistent inconsistency, or a proven inability to be effective after 30 pitches…equating the notion that he’s not fit as a starter with the idea that he’s incapable of improvement is something only you have done (at least by inference).  It’s ok to assume James Russell can’t be a starter – basically everyone does by now – but how dare anyone have already formed that same opinion about Samardzija.

        If Samardzija turns out to be a great starter, I’ll be thrilled – but the deck is stacked decidedly against him.

        Is it easier for a 22-year-old to become a better defender, or for a 27-year-old to develop a third MLB quality pitch?

      • Noah_I

        On top of what Norm just said, I have not anointed Shark to be anything.  I am merely stating that multiple sources (including Carrie Muskat) have reported that Samardzija is very close to locking down a spot in the rotation.  The Cubs generally don’t ask my opinion of these things.  Just FYI, Norm’s quote below was from Sunday.  

        Personally, I think Samardzija is pretty likely to fail miserably as a starter.  I don’t think his command or secondary stuff is good enough to succeed as a starter, and I’ll need to see him succeed in the regular season before I change my mind on that front.  But I understand the Cubs’ logic in trying him there in a season where a huge number of things have to go right for them to be competitive and two of the seven starting pitching options given legitimate shots to win a spot in the rotation have a minor league option remaining.  The Cubs seem to believe he’s done a lot to improve over the offseason, and they’ve seen a lot more of him than I have since the end of last season.  Only the season will tell if they’ve been puffing him up or he’s actually improved.  

      • Jedi

        I get it Noah – didn’t mean that YOU were anointing him, rather the organization (if they’re to be taken at their word) is anointing him.  I tend to think they’re shoveling a load of bull in the press right now and they know he’ll probably fail as a starter – but they want to be on record as supportive of his desire to start, because when it doesn’t work out he’s going to be stuck back in our ‘pen.

  • Anyone have the audio on?  Wood blew a seven run lead…I’m guessing the Shark might end up in the 5-spot.  

    • Seymour Butts

      Just turned it on, Cubs back on top.
      T Wood is now battling for a minor league spot.
      Mather may knock Johnson off the roster…no matter how hard he plays.

      • I just assumed Wood would play hard as well.  

      • Very reasonable assumption.

      • Doc Raker

        Right over your head Lizzie.

      • Believe or not I actually got that one Doc. Shocking, I know!

      • Gymjok

        It Wood be a Travis T. if you didn’t get it.

    • Jedi

      Did I miss something? Is Wells out of the running?  It’s always seemed to me that it was Wells and Volstad who had the spots to lose.  They’ve both pitched well in limited duty.

      • Noah_I

        According to what Sveum has said over the past 4 or 5 days, Samardzija would have to just pitch completely terribly or get injured to not have a spot in the rotation on opening day.  And Bosio reportedly really likes Volstad.

        I bet Wells starts the year in Iowa.  Honestly, it probably makes the most sense.  Samardzija does have a plus fastball, so they might as well see if he can get the secondary stuff and command where it needs to be to start in a year they aren’t going to be very good anyways.  And Wells and Wood still have an option left.  Samardzija and Volstad do not.

      • Gymjok

        I still have the feeling Wells may be trade bait.
        Also wondering if Wells to the bullpen is a possibility.

      • Noah_I

        I’m just not sure you’re going to get any value back for Wells at this point, coming off his worst season where he dealt with injury issues.  And, if last year taught us anything, it’s that there is no thing as too much starting pitching depth.  Also, I believe T. Wood is really just incorporating a cutter into his arsenal.  He could use some time in Iowa to work on that, so the Cubs might want someone between one injury and him for a few months.

      • Jedi

        I’d love to see some of this stuff that Sveum’s been saying.  Haven’t heard anything that strong at all.  The Samardzija stuff that I’ve read can almost entirely be traced back to Paul Sullivan, as if he has some vested interest in it (he was ready to make Samardzija a lock after one appearance).

        I still think it’s funny we’re anointing a guy a starter when he’s PROVEN to have problems when he throws more than 30 pitches.  And he has yet to throw more than 4 innings this Spring.  No need to worry about options if you send Samardzija back to the pen where he belongs.

      • Norm Bothwell

         “Obviously, that lock’s getting a little closer and closer to being
        finalized,” Sveum said about Samardzija making the rotation. ”It’s
        impressive and it’s what organizations dream of – a 6-foot-6, 240-pound
        athlete on the mound who has four pitches with velocity. It’s
        impressive, there’s no doubt about it. I don’t think he’s doing anything
        we didn’t expect. The way he finished throwing the ball the last
        season, the mechanical changes he made, the confidence he gained. Now
        it’s just full force right now.”

        Yeah he’s proven to have problems after 30 pitches, does that mean he can’t improve?

      • Jedi

        Which part of Sveum’s statement is optimism and talking Samardzija up and which part is truth?  Because what I see is a manager being bullish on a guy in the media (which is fine, I just don’t see it as indicative of what’s happening behind the scenes).  If Dale really believes that Samardzija has four pitches then he has a terrible eye for talent.

        And for a guy who has proven to pitch terribly after 30 pitches for quite some time, you’ll pardon me if I don’t consider 2 runs in 4 innings of work during his last Spring Training outing marked improvement.  Until he gets stretched out and starts throwing 6-7 innings he’s basically a poor man’s Rich Harden.  I’d rather have a guy who’ll likely throw 180+ innings in 30+ starts than an experiment almost certainly doomed from the start.

      • Norm Bothwell

        Did you just not feel like answering my question:
        “does that mean he can’t improve?”

      • Jedi

        No Norm, amazingly I don’t feel like answering your childish attempts to bait an argument with some imagined deduction.  No one has said Samardzija can’t improve – there are several of us who think he does not posses the makeup of a starter.  Whether it’s a lack of MLB quality pitches, consistent inconsistency, or a proven inability to be effective after 30 pitches…equating the notion that he’s not fit as a starter with the idea that he’s incapable of improvement is something only you have done (at least by inference).  It’s ok to assume James Russell can’t be a starter – basically everyone does by now – but how dare anyone have already formed that same opinion about Samardzija.

        If Samardzija turns out to be a great starter, I’ll be thrilled – but the deck is stacked decidedly against him.

        Is it easier for a 22-year-old to become a better defender, or for a 27-year-old to develop a third MLB quality pitch?

      • Noah_I

        On top of what Norm just said, I have not anointed Shark to be anything.  I am merely stating that multiple sources (including Carrie Muskat) have reported that Samardzija is very close to locking down a spot in the rotation.  The Cubs generally don’t ask my opinion of these things.  Just FYI, Norm’s quote below was from Sunday.  

        Personally, I think Samardzija is pretty likely to fail miserably as a starter.  I don’t think his command or secondary stuff is good enough to succeed as a starter, and I’ll need to see him succeed in the regular season before I change my mind on that front.  But I understand the Cubs’ logic in trying him there in a season where a huge number of things have to go right for them to be competitive and two of the seven starting pitching options given legitimate shots to win a spot in the rotation have a minor league option remaining.  The Cubs seem to believe he’s done a lot to improve over the offseason, and they’ve seen a lot more of him than I have since the end of last season.  Only the season will tell if they’ve been puffing him up or he’s actually improved.  

      • Jedi

        I get it Noah – didn’t mean that YOU were anointing him, rather the organization (if they’re to be taken at their word) is anointing him.  I tend to think they’re shoveling a load of bull in the press right now and they know he’ll probably fail as a starter – but they want to be on record as supportive of his desire to start, because when it doesn’t work out he’s going to be stuck back in our ‘pen.

  • Buddy

    What’s Twitter?

    • ^ great band name

      • Buddy

        Good idea! The Atomic Twitters!

  • Buddy

    What’s Twitter?

    • ^ great band name

      • Buddy

        Good idea! The Atomic Twitters!