Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thing 3

Here, I profiled Thing 1 - Jerry Sands - who came to Pittsburgh via the Joel Hanrahan trade.  Sands was one of four players - three that have largely played their careers in at the minor league level thus far.  Thing 2 is Stolmy Pimentel, profiled here.  Thing 3 is Ivan DeJesus.  This article profiles him.

The name Ivan De Jesus should be familiar.  That's due to the fact that the De Jesus the Pirates just received for Hanrahan is actually junior.  Junior's father also played in the middle infield years ago in the major leagues.  The younger De Jesus was born on the first day of May in 1987.  He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2005 in the second round as a prep player out of Puerto Rico.

De Jesus slowly made his way through the Dodgers farm system in a methodical and slow fashion. His one hiccup was a broken leg that cost him essentially his entire 2009 season. During his trip up the ladder, De Jesus displayed many positive skills.  He displayed strong plate discipline, consistently walking over 10% of the time while striking out approximately 15% of the time.  In addition, De Jesus showed a strong hit tool, routinely hitting close to .300.  On the negative side, De Jesus has never displayed even adequate power.  He's the owner of a career minor league ISO of .91, despite playing in offensive friendly environments, especially in the upper levels of the Dodgers system.

Last season, De Jesus was traded as part of the mid-summer blockbuster between the Dodgers and Red Sox.  Now, he's coming to Pittsburgh, even after being designated-for-assignment and not claimed by the Red Sox earlier this offseason. Offensively, De Jesus might be able to get on-base at a good clip in the major leagues, even though he barely has adequate power.  Defensively, De Jesus can play a variety of middle infield positions, including shortstop in a pinch.  DeJesus will turn 26 this coming May and has little upside left.  He's basically a what-you-see-is-what-you-get utility infielder.

In other words, he's a little bit lesser and a little bit older Brock Holt.  In a way, that makes the back end of the Hanrahan trade a bit strange, but it gave the Red Sox a bit of value back.  The Pirates, on the other hand, lost a small bit with Holt by getting De Jesus back.  Moving forward, De Jesus will never grab any headlines, but he should be able to sit on the major league bench and provide a decent glove and some on-base skills.  There are worse bench options.