He may not hit a whole lot of homruns….
And sure, he’s not exactly built like the Hulk.
Hell, you may never even hear his name mentioned in a Cubs’ recap unless he’s either winning or blowing the game – but Chicago Cubs OF David DeJesus is an absolute stud.
Other than the fact that this may be the most homoerotic title I’ve published on any piece of literature I’ve ever written, It’s hard to ignore the fact that DeJesus is exactly the type of player the Cubs need during their rebuild.
DeJesus represents a hard worker in the club house who’s play and dedication to the game leave little to doubt. You’ll never hear about a “blow up” or a “lack of effort” coming from this Brooklyn boy. He fills the roll of a leader to the youth within the ranks of the Cubs organization and was one of the first signings (off free agency) by Theo Epstein and his new front office staff.
You may be wondering: “Hey Andrew…. I know you’re super talented and witty when it comes to baseball writing, but why so much love for a guy that doesn’t put up huge numbers? Is how handsome, charming and especially modest you are hindering your rational though processes?”
While being so devilishly handsome is a problem from time to time, there’s no doubt in my mind that DeJesus will be recognized as one of the Cubs’ best players this season for one simple reason:
DeJesus may not hit homers like Anthony Rizzo or Alfonso Soriano, but he certainly doesn’t strike out like Brett Jackson or post up L’s like Chris Volstad (I’m sorry… I couldn’t resist that one. For the record, both Jackson and Volstad seem to be turning their poor play around)
DeJesus is a career .282/.356/.419 hitter who isn’t afraid to work an 0-2 count aggressively. That triple slash score alone is impressive, but becomes even more impressive when you see that he’s in his 10th year of active MLB play. And while his numbers in Chicago are slightly lower than his career average, it’s impossible to rip on the guy for lack of production. He’s still a .269/.357/.407 hitter in 2012 complete with 23 doubles and 39 RBI.
The story with DeJesus keeps getting better too. DeJesus is rarely injured playing in at least 118 games 7 of his last 8 seasons, accumulating almost 4800 career plate appearances. Better yet, DeJesus doesn’t K a whole lot (only 70Ks so far this season) and draws a healthy amount of walks as well (48 BB in 2012).
DeJesus has spent a lot of time leading off the order for the Cubs this season, and its pretty obvious why. He’s extremely selective at the plate, showing great patience and even more skill to be able to work the counts that he does. He forces pitchers to attack him, as he has no issues with letting close balls to the zone go to an ump’s call. When raw hitting talent meets a great eye, you get David DeJesus.
Despite his age (32 years), he still shows good speed in the outfield and is very savvy when it comes to selecting a path to sharp liners or even basic fly balls. His numbers back up his play as well, as his OF Fld% is a rock solid .995 – well above the league average of .986. Take into consideration he isn’t much younger than Alfonso Soriano and compare both player’s speed. DeJesus is in peak physical condition and has almost no lingering injuries that hold him back. For you Sabermetrics fans out there, he’s working a 2.16 RF/9* vs the league average of 2.12, which again highlights his speed and ability to get the ball and make a play, whether it be a relay or an out.
The Cubs could use more players like DeJesus to help keep them consistent. We all know that baseball is a streaky game, but having more players with the work ethic and drive to succeed that DeJesus demonstrates every game would be a huge factor in the Cubs’ rebuild. While most of this rock solid play comes from 10+ years of experience playing in the majors, he can act as a mentor guiding younger players and sharing his experiences with the team to further benefit development as a whole.
Off free agency, DeJesus signed a 2 year/$10 million deal with the Cubs, making $4.25 million for the next two seasons, and $1.5 million with a $6.5 million dollar team option in 2014. Taking in to consideration everything he brings on a team with so few bright spots, he’s a steal at $4.25 million a season. Should he avoid injury and keep up his steady pace of play, I can see the Cubs exercising their 2014 team option and having him back for a 3rd year before he hits the free agent market once again.
Whats not to like about David? He’s a solid player who caters to the fans, even signing autographs out of his car. GM’s love having players who can relate to the community and take the time to appreciate their fans. Its good for the brand, after all.
And if you still don’t like David DeJesus, there’s one more reason why you should: His wife Kim DeJesus. I’ll let you figure that one out for yourselves….
Want more? You can always follow me on twitter @Denny_CubsCrib for Cubs analysis, news, humor and updates. Special shout out to my best readers: My dear grandmother Carol and my good buddy James. Appreciate the support guys!