IVAN DE JESUS
SECOND BASEMAN
Born: May 1, 1987
Height: 5’11″
Weight: 200
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 2nd Round, 51st overall, 2005 (Dodgers)
How acquired: Trade (from Red Sox)
High School: American Military Academy (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico)
Agent: MDR Sports Management

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

De Jesus is the son of the long-time major league shortstop of the same name.  He was considered a very good prospect in his earlier years in the Dodgers’ system, due to good defensive instincts, a line drive bat and good patience at the plate.  His prospects went downhill, though, after a broken leg in 2009.  Up until then he was a shortstop with slightly above average speed, but since the injury he’s mostly played second and his speed is now a little below average.  He was a decent base stealer before the injury, but since he has seldom attempted to run.  De Jesus was included in the huge, salary-dumping trade between Boston and the Dodgers.  After the 2012 season, the Red Sox designated him for assignment and he cleared waivers, so he no longer appears to be a prospect.  The Pirates acquired him, along with Mark Melancon, Jerry Sands and Stolmy Pimentel for Joel Hanrahan and Brock Holt.

2005
R:  339/389/380, 121 AB, 5 2B, 10 BB, 22 K, 8-10 SB
R+:  208/296/222, 72 AB, 1 2B, 6 BB, 18 K, 3-6 SB

De Jesus played at two different rookie levels in his debut, hitting very well at the lower one but not in advanced rookie ball.  He played short exclusively.

2006
A:  277/361/327, 483 AB, 17 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 63 BB, 85 K, 16-21 SB

The Dodgers moved De Jesus up to full season ball and he hit reasonably well, with good plate discipline and very little power.  He was helped by a good hitter’s park, as he batted only .228 on the road.  At this stage he was still only 19 and Baseball America rated him as the Dodgers’ sixth best prospect after the season.

2007
A+:  287/371/381, 428 AB, 22 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 57 BB, 64 K, 11-17 SB

De Jesus hit the ball with more authority, but that may had more to do with the California League than anything else.  He continued to show very good strike zone judgment.

2008
AA:  324/419/423, 463 AB, 21 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 76 BB, 81 K, 16-18 SB

In AA, De Jesus had his best season, leading the Southern League in OBP.  He again ranked as the Dodgers’ sixth best prospect after the season.

2009
R:  200/308/300, 10 AB, 1 2B, 1 BB, 6 K

After suffering a broken leg in spring training, De Jesus missed nearly the entire season.

2010
AAA:  296/335/405, 533 AB, 33 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 32 BB, 81 K, 6-7 SB

De Jesus had a good year in AAA, although his plate discipline wasn’t as good as it had been.  He showed decent gap power.  The Dodgers used him mostly at second.

2011
AAA:  310/389/432, 387 AB, 19 2B, 2 3B, 8 HR, 45 BB, 68 K, 4-5 SB
MLB:  188/235/188, 32 AB, 2 BB, 11 K

The Dodgers kept De Jesus in the majors to start the season, but after he went 0-for-7 with five strikeouts in his first two games, he seldom played.  The team sent him to AAA in mid-May and called him back up for just one more game.  He again hit well in AAA, where he played mostly second.

2012
AAA (LAD):  295/333/415, 224 AB, 12 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 14 BB, 53 K, 1-2 SB
AAA (Bos):  385/429/423, 26 AB, 1 2B, 2 BB, 3 K, 1-1 SB
MLB (LAD):  273/324/364, 33 AB, 3 2B, 3 BB, 7 K, 1-2 SB
MLB (Bos):  000/000/000, 8 AB, 6 K

De Jesus suffered an oblique tear in spring training.  When he returned in May he spent about a month with the Dodgers in a utility role, then went back to AAA.  After the trade to the Red Sox, he split his time between AAA and the majors, getting only eight ABs with the Sox and striking out in six of them.

2013
AAA:  319/380/457, 304 AB, 27 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 29 BB, 65 K, 5-7 SB

De Jesus passed up a chance to play in the World Baseball Classic to concentrate on making the Pirates.  He had a very strong spring, but the Pirates’ terrible decision to go with Brandon Inge and John McDonald as utility players eliminated any chance he had at making the team.  De Jesus instead spent the year at Indianapolis and had a strong season, hitting well from beginning to end.  Just the same, despite having a hugely unproductive bench through most of the year, the Pirates never called him up.  In fact, De Jesus only played semi-regularly at Indianapolis, starting only a little over half the team’s games.  He played mostly at second, getting into only six games at short.  Some of the time, he was losing playing time to 40-man roster players such as Chase d’Arnaud and Josh Harrison, but at the end of the year he was sitting behind the likes of Brian Bocock and Robert Andino.

De Jesus looks as though he could be useful as a utility player, but he’ll be a free agent after the season and it seems very unlikely that the Pirates will add him to the 40-man roster.  It’s difficult to understand their lack of interest in him, unless it’s the view that he can’t play shortstop any more.  The Pirates seem to value defense more than offense for bench players, a view that’s contributed to their persistent offensive problems under their current front office.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2011: $414,000
2012: $480,500
2013:
Minor league contract
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $675,000
MiLB Debut: 2005
MLB Debut: 4/1/2011
MiLB FA Eligible: 2013
MLB FA Eligible: 2019
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: November 18, 2009
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2010, 2011, 2012)
MLB Service Time: 0.147
TRANSACTIONS
June 7, 2005: Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2nd round, 51st overall pick; signed on June 19.
November 18, 2009: Contract purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
August 25, 2012: Traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers with Allen Webster, James Loney, and two players to be named later (Jerry Sands and Rubby De La Rosa) to the Boston Red Sox for Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto and cash.
November 20, 2012: Designated for assignment by the Boston Red Sox; outrighted to AAA on November 26.
December 26, 2012: Traded by the Boston Red Sox with Jerry Sands, Mark Melancon and Stolmy Pimentel to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Joel Hanrahan and Brock Holt.