Monday, March 7, 2011
30 A's in 30 Days: David DeJesus
Acquired: Traded from Kansas City for SP Vin Mazzaro and SP Justin Marks (November 10, 2010).
Contract: Signed through 2011 (eligible for free agency after 2011).
Position: Starting right fielder; least mustachioed ball-playing DeJesus in recent memory.
2011 Projected BA/OBP/SLG: .270/.343/.399
2010 Season: As with pretty much everyone else on the Kansas City Royals roster, DeJesus' national visibility was inversely related to the number of days remaining until the 2010 trade deadline. He was hitting .318/.384/.443 on July 22 -- and linked in trade rumors to the Red Sox, Rays, Giants and Padres -- when he crashed into the outfield wall at Yankee Stadium, tearing a ligament in his right thumb. He'd miss the rest of the year. There was a time when I hated the Royals. They talked trash after signing away overrated Oakland SP Storm Davis prior to the 1990 season and George Brett won his batting title from the bench that year (besting Rickey Henderson). Today, I pray for them.
2011 Over/Under: Like new teammate Josh Willingham, DeJesus is playing for a lucrative new contract next season. DeJesus won't have the challenge of learning a new league -- as Willingham will -- but, it's unclear what impact, if any, the thumb injury will have on his numbers. Phillies 2B Chase Utley tore a thumb ligament last June and missed six weeks. From mid-August until the end of the regular season, Utley's BA and OBP remained steady, but his SLG dropped more than 55 points. D-Backs 2B Orlando Hudson suffered the same injury in September 2007, but experienced zero drop-off in 2008. Eh, I'll take the OVER...even though I'm still haunted by this Royal-turned-Athletic.
By the Numbers: 876 -- The number of games played by DeJesus in a Kansas City Royals uniform. I can't be the only one surprised to learn that this puts him in the team's top 15 all-time. DeJesus is actually in the top ten in Royals history for runs, hits, doubles and triples. He played in Kansas City for five full seasons, a little more than half of two other seasons and a 12 game call-up in 2003. Check out the final half-dozen paragraphs of this Rany Jazayerli from last June. It'll blow your mind. (But, not as much as the first three comments after the post.)
Surefire 2011 Prediction: I just discovered DeJesus was a three-time winner of the Royals' "Heart and Hustle" award. This is one of those media guide finds that's guaranteed to be mentioned all season long with phrases like "Billy Beane doesn't usually believe in heart and/or hustle", "can't be measured with statistics" and "a la David Eckstein and Darin Erstad".
Old School Rap Track for the Season: Get Money, Junior M.A.F.I.A.