- Full name Iván De Jesús Jr.
- Born 05/01/1987 in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
- Profile Ht.: 5'11" / Wt.: 200 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School American Military Academy
- Debut 04/01/2011
Drafted in the 2nd round (51st overall) by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2005 (signed for $675,000).
View Draft ReportWith a resume that includes a polished bat, a big league father and a lack of a strong college commitment, De Jesus could be drafted well and a bit higher than his talent might warrant. De Jesus' father Ivan was a shortstop for the Cubs and Phillies in the 1970s and '80s but with a different type of game from his son. Where the father was a slasher and speed player, the son fits the modern game better with more power in his bat and average speed (4.3 seconds to first base). The current De Jesus model has a good idea at the plate, and his bat gets above-average grades from scouts in the 55-60 range (on the 20-80 scale), projecting him to be a .280-.300 hitter. Whether De Jesus hits for power will determine his ceiling. He has some present jolt in his swing due to strong wrists and forearms. Scouts are mixed on him defensively. He has good hands and instincts, and he could handle second base easily. Whether he has enough arm to consistently make the play in the hole will determine whether he plays shortstop in the big leagues like his father.
Organization Prospect Rankings
DeJesus looked overpowered in his first exposure to the big leagues last April and May, but he righted the ship after returning to Triple-A. He draws comparisons to his father Ivan Sr., who also came up with the Dodgers and played in the majors for 15 seasons. DeJesus has an inside-out swing, producing line drives from gap to gap with solid bat speed. His power output will be limited and he compensates with good on-base skills, as his patient approach produces walks. DeJesus broke his leg during spring training in 2009, costing him most of that season. Never a speedster even before the injury, he's now a tick below-average runner who rarely has tried to steal in the last two seasons. Unlike his father, DeJesus won't carve out a long career as a shortstop. He has good hands, and while his arm is accurate and strong enough to get by at shortstop, he fits best at second base. Since he got hurt, he has played primarily at second while also seeing action at short and third base. He'll have to fight for a job in spring training and may face a third season in Triple-A.
DeJesus lost his 2009 season when he broke the tibia in his right leg during spring training. Otherwise he would've been on track to make his big league debut last year. As it was, he spent all of 2010 in Triple-A, where he took some time to get going but hit .316/.351/.435 from June on. DeJesus could be a similar offensive player to his father Ivan Sr., who played 15 seasons in the majors and now works on the Cubs coaching staff. He has a short swing with solid-average bat speed. He'll never hit many home runs, but he has a solid up-the-middle approach and can drive balls into both gaps. Although DeJesus logged most of his time at second base last year, he has also played shortstop, and some in the organization think he could still end up there. He has the arm strength for short, but his first-step quickness still lags after his broken leg, and he has to improve his double-play pivot. He's only an average runner and isn't a major threat on the bases. The Dodgers believe DeJesus is ready for the majors from an offensive standpoint, but the signing of Juan Uribe means he's likely ticketed for Triple-A again until there's a need in the middle infield in Los Angeles.
After being chosen as the Dodgers' 2008 minor league player of the year, DeJesus' 2009 season effectively ended March 2, when he broke the lower part of the tibia in his right leg while being thrown out at the plate in a spring-training "B" game. He was limited to four late-season games in the Rookie-level Arizona League. DeJesus has an advanced approach at the plate, with good discipline and a willingness to use the whole field. He has average speed and keen baserunning instincts. He's a good defender with solid range and arm strength. He gets high marks for his baseball IQ, not surprising since his father Ivan Sr. was a major league shortstop for 15 seasons and is a coach with the Cubs. DeJesus doesn't have a lot of power and hits too many grounders for someone lacking plus speed. He has a knack for getting on base but won't provide many extra-base hits or steals. There will be questions about how his speed and range will be affected by his leg injury until he returns to playing every day. Had he spent last season in Triple-A, DeJesus might be ready to make the jump to Los Angeles. Instead, he'll open 2010 in Albuquerque, although he has been added to the Dodgers' 40-man roster. He's not as dynamic as Dee Gordon and may move to second base if they're in the same big league lineup one day.
The son of the former big league shortstop by the same name, DeJesus stood out much more with his defense than his offense before 2008. Then he led the Southern League in on-base percentage (.419) and ranked fifth in hitting (.324). He played in the Futures Game and finished the season with a 23-game hitting streak. DeJesus has an advanced approach, uses the whole field and shows good plate discipline. He has the ability to square up a fastball, and some power could come as he gets older, because he knows which pitches to pull. Defensively, he has solid range and arm strength to go with good actions and instincts. He's an average runner with savvy on the bases. His bilingualism, leadership skills and personality help make him a positive clubhouse presence. DeJesus has a tendency to be too flashy on defense, especially with his throws, and otherwise gets careless mentally. Some SL observers thought he looked more comfortable at second base. He won't be a big home run or stolen base threat. For now, DeJesus will stay at shortstop, where the Dodgers have a greater need. He could get a chance to replace free agent Rafael Furcal in the big league lineup, but more likely is headed to Triple-A.
The son of former 15-year major league veteran Ivan Sr., the younger DeJesus has a game that profiled better during his father's era. He's a mature hitter with good barrel awareness and an ability to spray the ball to all fields. His defense is above-average and ahead of his offensive tools. He has easy, natural actions up the middle, terrific hands and body control when making plays on the run. His arm is solid-average and plays up because of his clean, quick exchanges. He's an average runner, and his instincts enhance his all-around game. DeJesus is patient to a fault at the plate. He falls in love with waiting on pitches when he could be more aggressive on balls he can pull. He has wiry strength but projects to hit for no better than below-average power. He'll likely bat at the bottom of an order, but a team that values defense and intangibles enough to live with his modest offense could find an everyday spot for DeJesus in the big leagues. He was unable to attend instructional league because of an injured thumb, but should open 2008 in Double-A.
DeJesus' father Ivan Sr. originally signed with Los Angeles and spent 15 years in the majors. A switch-hitter as an amateur, DeJesus batted solely righthanded last year. DeJesus has a rare blend of tools and instincts. His defense is ahead of his bat now, but he's patient, works counts and allows balls to travel deep in the hitting zone. He has good bat-head awareness and slaps the ball to all fields. DeJesus has pure shortstop actions with supple hands and plus range. He has an average arm with efficient exchanges. He's a slightly above-average runner. He lacks strength and DeJesus' power is well below-average. In 2006, he batted .228 away from hitter-friendly Golden Park in low Class A Columbus. As he grows into his wiry frame, DeJesus could improve his punch at the plate. He profiles as an everyday, defense-first big leaguer. He'll spend 2007 in high Class A.
DeJesus was the highest-profile Puerto Rican prospect since righthander Luis Atilano was drafted in the supplemental first round by the Braves in 2003. The son of former major league shortstop Ivan DeJesus, Ivan Jr. signed quickly for slot money ($675,000 as a second-rounder) and played well in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. When Juan Rivera strained a leg muscle in August, DeJesus moved up to Rookie-level Ogden but never settled in at the plate. He has good bat control and a level swing that elicits sharp line drives when his timing is on. A switch-hitter, he has a promising combination of wiry strength, a loose stroke and good hand-eye coordination. He needs to improve his plate discipline and pitch recognition. DeJesus can get too flashy in the field, though he has good hands to go along with an average arm. He's a slightly above-average runner with good instincts on the bases. With Rivera destined for low Class A, DeJesus likely will return to Ogden this summer.
Minor League Top Prospects
DeJesus finished the season on a 23-game hitting streak, which propelled him to the SL's on-base percentage title at .419. Considered a steady player entering the year, he impressed scouts and managers with his steady improvement. His instincts and feel for all aspects of the game--no doubt the product of being the son of a longtime big league shortstop--help his athleticism and tools play up. DeJesus always had plus bat speed, but he worked to shorten his swing and showed the ability to make adjustments not only during the season but also within individual games. He has excellent strike-zone judgment and squares up balls well. His approach is more geared to hit the ball to right-center, though he can use the whole field. While he shows occasional pop to his pull side, he'll need to add strength to be able to handle big league pitching. Defensively, DeJesus' hands and feet work well. Though he's only a fringe-average runner, his instincts give him solid range. He has solid arm strength, but 17 of his 26 errors this season came on throws and some observers though he looked more comfortable at second base.
DeJesus' father Ivan played 15 years as a shortstop in the big leagues and managed this season at high Class A Salem in the Astros system. Not surprisingly, the younger DeJesus has an advanced grasp of the game. Though he made 12 errors in 33 games before earning a promotion to Rookie-level Ogden, DeJesus is a quality shortstop. He has soft hands and excellent footwork, and his speed and range allow him to make more than his share of athletic plays. He has everything scouts look for in a prototype shortstop except arm strength, though the Dodgers see a move to second base only as a worst-case scenario. "He's got range, hands and footwork--all natural ability he gotten from his dad's genes," Mets manager Gary Carter said. "He knows how to play." DeJesus isn't as advanced with the bat. He shows little more than gap power but stays within himself. He excels at putting balls in play and hitting behind runners. His upside is a .280-.290 hitter with 20-plus steals and maybe 10-15 homers if his power blossoms.
While Rivera has a stronger arm and is steadier at shortstop, DeJesus has more potential with the bat. The son of longtime big league shortstop Ivan DeJesus, he started his pro career in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and ranked No. 14 on that prospect list. He didn't hit much after getting called to Ogden when Rivera got hurt, but DeJesus has good bat control and a level swing that produces line drives. He'll fare better once he improves his pitch recognition and plate discipline. He's too flashy and his arm is average at best, but he has good hands, quickness and range.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive 2B in the Pacific Coast League in 2010
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009
- Rated Best Strike-Zone Discipline in the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008
- Rated Best Defensive Infielder in the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007